Guide to Creating an Arts and Cultural Master Plan

The New Hampshire Creative Communities Network is pleased to present this Guide To Creating an Arts and Cultural Plan, an online and print resource to help New Hampshire communities raise awareness about the creative economy and its benefits, and develop plans to advance the creative economy.

Faced with increasingly tighter budgets and limited resources, municipalities, arts organizations, arts advocates, and artists themselves are challenged to further the important work of bringing the arts to citizens, visitors, and all sectors within New Hampshire's communities. The Guide to Creating an Arts and Cultural Plan is an extensive gathering of local, state, and national resources to help community arts organizers, local and regional planners, business leaders, Town and City officials, and economic development professionals understand the connection between the creative industries and community economic vitality, and create an action plan to move toward a creative economy planning focus.

The Guide to Creating an Arts and Cultural Plan is one component of the Creative Economy Toolkit, which contains numerous resources, and a customizable Powerpoint presentation entitled, “The Creative Economy – Making It Work in Your Community”. These resources may be used separately or together, depending on the particular needs of your community or organization. Creative Communities Network members are available to make presentations to cross sector groups in your community or region, such as planners, chambers of commerce, arts presenters and advocates, economic development and tourism agencies, and municipal leaders.

Guide Table of Contents

I.   Why Create an Arts and Cultural Plan?

II.  Suggested Components of an Arts and Cultural Plan

III. Steps to Creating an Arts and Cultural Plan

    1. Define the Plan’s Objectives
    2. Conduct a Community Visioning & Goal Setting Process
    3. Review Existing Plans
    4. Research Trends and Creative Industry Demographics
    5. Conduct Citizen Forums and Surveys
    6. Conduct and Arts and Cultural Assets Inventory
    7. Include Appendices

IV. Glossary of Art and Cultural Terms


NH Creative Communities Network Steering Committee

Carol Batchelder
Liz Hitchcock (Manchester Arts and Culture Roundtable)
Mike Provost (Rochester Main Street Program)
Liz Racioppi (Nashua Arts Commission)
Frumie Selchen (Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire)
Joanne Wise (Upper Valley Arts Alliance)


Public Service Company of New Hampshire
NH Planners Association
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission

Network Coordinator

Judy Rigmont

Project Consultant

Cindy Heath