Why cultural planning — and why now?

Cultural planning is an inclusive process for engaging city residents, visitors, and representatives of arts and culture and other sectors to help identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to think strategically about how to use these resources to help a community achieve its goals.

Many Bostonians believe that the city’s arts and culture sector, for all of its great strengths and future potential, is now at a critical juncture. People both inside and outside this sector have told us the time is right for envisioning and articulating the role arts and culture can and should play in Boston’s future, and for acting to bring this future about. The challenges and opportunities the sector faces also present themselves at a unique moment of new leadership in Boston—at City Hall, in the corporate and foundation worlds, and in the city’s arts and culture institutions.

The City of Boston has carried out the Boston Creates planning process at a time when, through Imagine Boston 2030, the City is undertaking its first comprehensive planning process in fifty years. The goals of the Boston Creates plan will be incorporated into the larger plan for the city. At this forward-looking moment, the Boston Creates cultural plan aims to show how—with leadership and participation by the City as well as private institutions, groups, and individuals from across the city—we can begin acting now to create a brilliant future for arts and culture in Boston.

  • 18_3col

Salsa in the Park (July 20, 2015): Salsa in the Park gathers salsa lovers during the summer at the Blackstone Community Center’s courtyard. Photo by Leonardo March.