Government
8:38 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Recommendations For The Future Of Arts And Culture In KC

Kansas City, Mo. started a collaborative process in January 2013 when the public was invited to a series of brainstorming sessions to map out the city’s role in arts and culture. Top recommendations were announced on Monday.

The draft report, revealed in the auditorium at the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza branch, includes 10 goals, with strategies based on public input and subcommittees of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts.

"Art is a conversation," says Task Force co-chair Sean Kelley. "It’s a conversation about cooperation, communication, and then collaborating."

From left to right: Co-chairs Sean Kelley and Pat Jordan, and Chair Mike Burke at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza branch, July 15, 2013.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Cultural Planning Group consultant David Plettner-Saunders says, based on the team's work around the country, there was "extraordinary participation from individual artists throughout this process." He adds that "artist voices were not only heard, but it was very clear that artists are an essential component of the creative life of the city: historically, currently and increasingly." 

The recommendations in the report - a 10-year plan - range from increasing arts education, creating more flexible venues, tying arts and culture to neighborhoods, and boosting the city’s percent for art program (from 1 percent to 2).

"Perhaps the most important underlying strategy is to create an expanded city office for the arts," says Plettner-Saunders. "Because it’s not just about the arts we’re giving it a different name: The Office of Creative Services."

Next steps include more feedback, then a plan estimating costs and revenue strategies.

The draft report is posted on the mayor's website. The public is also invited to attend a meeting to hear recommendations and share feedback on Tuesday, 5:30 - 7:15 p.m. at ArtsTech, 1522 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Mo.