CULTURAL MASTER PLAN
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Cultural Planning? Community cultural planning is a structured, community-wide fact-finding and consensus-building process to assess community needs and develop a plan of action that directs arts and cultural resources to address those needs.
Is Cultural Planning all about “high-brow” arts? On the contrary, cultural plans typically are all-encompassing of a community’s arts and cultural activities and institutions, including arts nonprofits, artists, audiences, arts education, public art, facilities, and systems of financial support. The most inclusive cultural plans embrace the activities of mainstream regional planning efforts, applying arts and culture to tourism, urban design, downtown revitalization, and economic and community development.
What are some of the benefits of Cultural Planning? Cultural Planning has the potential to:
- Advance a sense of community.
- Find new answers to old problems.
- Tap the full economic development potential of local artists and cultural organizations.
- Spark renewed civic pride.
- Strengthen support for artists and nonprofit cultural organizations.
- Fully integrate the arts into education.
- Determine feasibility of developing cultural facilities.
- Enhance access to cultural programs to a broader base of citizens.
Why should El Dorado County have a Cultural Plan? The County is formulating a new Economic Development plan, with the stated goal of “enabling a prosperous and vibrant economy.” Cultural Planning is an effective tool for focusing and channeling the power of the arts to build a more livable community, which in turn has the power to attract cultural tourism and new businesses within the creative sector. In addition, EDAC has observed that many cultural entities are isolated from one another and are struggling to reach sustainability, students have fewer arts programs in a school setting, and the economic power of the arts is underutilized; a Cultural Plan would address these and other issues.
Who will oversee the planning process? The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has designated El Dorado Arts Council as the local partner for the California Arts Council and has recognized through a board resolution that EDAC “provides leadership in arts and economic revitalization, neighborhood and educational enhancement, regional cultural tourism and marketing, and organizational and financial arts stabilization.” EDAC is the most qualified agency in the County to oversee the planning process and will work through its network of constituents and members to ensure that the process reaches broadly throughout diverse sectors of the region. An experienced planning consultant has been identified and will be engaged by EDAC.
How long does it take and how much does it cost? EDAC proposes that the planning process take about six months, with another two months for the consultant to write the report. The planning process will cost about $100,000, which includes the final report. EDAC is currently raising the funds necessary for the plan and is developing a broad base of support, including foundations, government agencies, corporations and business, and individuals.
Will the public have an opportunity for input? Yes. The consultant will meet with community stakeholders in individual and group settings, and Cultural Plan recommendations will build on the public focus groups organized by EDAC in 2013.
Many plans just sit on a shelf. How will this plan be different? A visionary Cultural Plan relevant to its community, geography, and arts assets will ultimately have a positive, lasting impact. This plan will suggest effective partnerships among cultural entities and also between arts and culture and the business community, other social service nonprofits, recreation, agriculture, the food and wine industry, and others – partnerships which will enliven and mutually support one another. The plan will also recommend funding sources for implementation steps. Cultural plans rarely succeed when they stand alone. The plan for El Dorado County will leverage community assets, support arts and culture as an engine for a creative economy, position arts and culture as an integral element in local decision-making, and nurture future leaders, artists, audiences, and an informed citizenry.