Cultural Planning as a Community and Economic Development Tool

APA Idaho


Friday, October 13, 2017
9:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. MDT

CM | 1.25

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Cultural planning—strategic inventories, goal setting, and partnership development—is often overlooked, especially in small, rural communities. But planning with an eye on culture may be your best tool to strengthen community relationships and build local economies. Cultural tourism, community identity, and public/private partnerships stand to benefit. Learn the ropes through this informative session.

How does the session relate to the big theme?

Cities benefit from looking comprehensively at their cultural assets so that they see the big picture of what they offer as a community that differentiates them from other places. Understanding and promoting community-wide cultural assets—which may be related to the arts, history, or people of diverse origins—have a bigger impact on attracting tourists and leveraging resources.

How does the session meet specific planning-related training objective?

Participants will gain an understanding of how to translate their planning skills to the cultural arena to do asset inventories, public input meetings, data analysis, goal setting, objective development, and evaluation. Resources such as the Cultural Vitality Index, Americans for the Arts, and Western States Arts Federation will be shared.

How does the session offer a professionally relevant learning experience for a planner with at least 4 years of experience? Planners in Idaho wear many hats – such as serving neighborhood, comprehensive, design review, and historic preservation planning. Cultural planning is often last on the list and the least understood or valued. One may be a seasoned planner but feel intimidated by the concept of cultural planning. This is an opportunity to provide training to planners about cultural planning so they might understand and feel empowered to engage in the practice in their communities. Recent trends, types of cultural assets and organizations, and entrepreneurial aspects of cultural workers as small business people will be addressed.

What do I want attendees to learn from this session?


I want attendees to learn that they can and should plan for culture in their communities.  They’ll see how they can adapt their existing skill set to focus on the cultural arena in ways that will strengthen their community and leverage economic resources. How can they value local makers as small business owners? How can they link small museums, historical sites, local artisans, and ethnic restaurants to create cultural tourism opportunities? Using case studies, interactive worksheets, and dialogue they will learn how to go home and create a cultural plan that will help them move forward.


Karen Bubb

Karen Bubb leads the implementation of Boise’s Cultural Plan. This includes introducing the plan to residents; creating and managing mini-plans based on goals and objectives; working with internal and external partners to develop cultural policy and programming; and serving as a liaison regarding planning and development efforts. In her ... Read More

Contact Info

Diane Kushlan,