On Friday, Pawtucket's mayor James E. Doyle will kick off the Pawtucket Arts Festival with a bridge dedication ceremony honoring Morris Nathanson who, for almost a quarter of a century, has dedicated his life to the promotion and cultivation of the arts and culture in Pawtucket.
A longtime resident of Pawtucket, Nathanson has been a determined businessman and a strong civic supporter. He has pushed to transform downtown Pawtucket to become a lively place to live and work. With an original desire to brand Pawtucket as a "Creative City," Nathanson helped to attract hundreds of artists to relocate their careers and lives to the city's once active mills. In turn, he lobbied and successfully changed the city's zoning laws concerning use of the mills. His design firm, Morris Nathanson Design, well known for its contribution to the restaurant and hospitality industry, is located in an old mill along Exchange Street and the historic Blackstone River.