In this blog, we continue our exploration of Cultural Planning and the economic benefits that it brings to local government.
There are six steps in doing a Cultural Plan. Your associate at McSweeney can explain these in detail, but the steps are:
- First, get your Council and your community together and approve the concept of cultural planning (and ideally a suitable budget).
- Set up a Steering Group - an experienced consultant to help guide the process.
- Do your research. Gather the data. You may want to also do a Cultural Mapping project.
- Engage the community. I can't emphasize enough how vital this is. Reach out to the community, listen to them, get fresh ideas, and make it an opportunity to really explore a new vision with the community.
- Do the report and make specific recommendations, including an Action Plan. Don't let the report gather dust on a shelf. Get your local government approval.
- And finally, work out an implementation plan and budget, and then DO IT!
Cultural Planning is about shaping, developing and enhancing the economic future of your municipality. It is about identifying and harnessing your cultural assets. It is about place and place-making. It is about strengthening the arts and artisans. It is about how heritage preservation can be an economic driver for you. Then you need to link those to your community's strategic and economic objectives.
That's why a careful strategy and identification of community objectives and needs are an important part of a municipal cultural plan. An experienced consultant can provide the process to do that.