Though relatively small, Massachusetts is a very important state, not least because of its world-renowned university, Harvard. The state was also at the centre of the Salem Witch Trials, as well as initiating the rebellion prior to the American Revolution and eventual independence.
Classic writers from Massachusetts include Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Henry James, not forgetting Edith Wharton, Edgar Allen Poe and E. E. Cummings.
Massachusetts has a diverse music scene and one of excellent standard, spanning all musical genres. The famous Boston Symphony Orchestra is based here. Bands like Aerosmith, The Cars and Pixies were all founded here. The height of the musical calendar is the Tanglewood Music Festival, which ranges from chamber music and choral music to jazz and pop music.
Crime thriller The Departed has a star filled cast, was shot in Boston and follows a complicated story of plots and intrigues. Another film that is also set in Boston, but was mainly filmed in Toronto is Good Will Hunting.