Following a yearlong process that engaged thousands of citizens, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) presented the 352ArtsRoadmap Cultural Plan for Gainesville and Alachua County to the Gainesville City Commission during the afternoon portion of today’s City Commission meeting. After the presentation, the Gainesville City Commission formally adopted the 352ArtsRoadmap as the strategic plan for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and made a referral to the Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Public Works Committee to look at departmental staffing reductions resulting from the most recent economic downturn.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department serves as the designated Local Arts Agency for Gainesville and Alachua County. In June 2014, with support from a State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs grant and the services of Mataraza Consulting, the department formally launched the process to update the city and county’s 2004 Cultural Plan. Over the next year, it enlisted the input of 3,197 residents through: a 122-person Steering Committee led by community leader and Honorary Chair Marilyn L. Tubb and co-chaired by former City Commissioner Lauren Poe and County Commissioner Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson; numerous focus groups and community dialogues across the county; an afternoon-long planning summit attended by 104 people and online surveys for artists, arts organizations and the general public which secured 2,788 responses.
The 352ArtsRoadmap is a 10-year plan that will continually evolve, strengthening culture and creativity countywide, and increasing its impact on the region’s quality of life, livability and economic prosperity. It builds on the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department’s Vision 2020 Master Plan, in which cultural facilities and programs play a key role.
The 352ArtsRoadmap identifies four key priorities for the region for the next decade from which 14 aims emerge.
Priority 1: Nurture and increase creative vitality
- Strengthen, enable, and empower artists & arts, cultural, and heritage, organizations, increasing their reach and relevance
- Strengthen collaboration between higher education, innovation industries, and the cultural sector
- Leverage the 352 area’s creative potential and distinctiveness with more public art and design
Priority 2: Increase creative opportunities for all residents everywhere
- Increase affordability of and access to cultural offerings
- Use the arts to support education and lifelong learning
- Use the arts to engage and inspire youth
- Use art and culture to bridge and connect communities and residents
- Create spaces in communities for cultural and creative activity
Priority 3: Boost the region’s reputation as an even more attractive place to live, work, and visit
- Help define and solidify the regional brand
- Promote and market cultural amenities regionally, nationally, and internationally to boost the region’s image as a cultural destination, thus increasing tourism
- Develop a multipurpose, multidisciplinary arts center that helps make Alachua County a cultural destination
Priority 4: Increase Cultural Affairs’ stewardship
- Position PRCA and its Foundation in a leadership role as the countywide cultural facilitator, coordinator, and advocate for culture
- Develop a countywide arts and cultural capitalization strategy that results in greater financial support for the cultural sector
- Increase municipal commitment and action to boost community
The roadmap’s implementation plan then breaks down into 44 action steps. One of the initial action steps of the 352ArtsRoadmap is the development of a community arts calendar and directory of artists and arts organizations on the website www.352arts.org. While it is still in development, the site should be fully up and running by fall 2015. Artists and organizations will be able to create accounts and actively maintain their information in the directory. A copy of the 352ArtsRoadmap is now available for download on the website.
For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at email@example.com or 352-393-8532. Follow 352Arts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/352Arts and Twitter @352Arts.