CNY Arts Invites Community Input in Regional Cultural Plan
CNY Arts (formerly the Cultural Resources Council) is seeking input from residents in six Central New York counties as part of a new initiative to promote and develop the area’s culture, arts, history and heritage resources for both residents and tourists. Engage CNY is a year-long project that will result in a master cultural plan for the region, comprised of Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties. It is the first regional cultural plan ever developed in New York State.
Leaders representing a cross-section of the community, from business, tourism, youth, history, faith, nonprofit and special needs groups, to agriculture, music, theater, media, education and more, have been recruited to guide this unprecedented effort. As part of the Engage CNY Leadership Advisory Council, they will oversee an inventory and assessment, conducted by CNY Arts, of what is happening now in arts, culture, history and heritage in communities across the region—in schools, libraries, churches, colleges, parks, neighborhoods, in neighborhood and senior centers, at festivals, within new immigrant and refugee communities, and in government, industry and business.
CNY Arts will use this inventory, along with information obtained through a series of community forums throughout the region, to determine who is being reached by what kinds of programming and where and why there are gaps.
Stephen Butler, CNY Arts executive director, explains “Our purpose is to find out what Central New Yorkers want in the areas of arts, culture, history and heritage, how to create partnerships across all sectors of our community, and how to increase access to cultural activities to everyone.” With this information in hand, the initiative will:
• explore how to invigorate Central New York economy, neighborhood development, tourism and quality of life with the power of its arts and culture.
• design a concrete plan to better coordinate arts, culture, history and heritage so their offerings are available to all who want them—residents and visitors alike—and to increase the visibility of Central New York as a cultural destination.
• Make the region a better place to live, work, play and visit by strengthening the ability of the CNY Arts agency to function as a center for community collaboration and a powerful engine of cultural development.
CNY Arts wants to hear the views of as many Central New York residents as possible. One key way to participate is to complete the Engage CNY community survey, available online at http://www.cnyarts.org. Hard copies will be available at libraries in Onondaga County. The survey is confidential, brief and easy to complete, and available through Oct. 15. Any interested individuals are also invited to take part in one of the upcoming regional forums. For details, or to obtain a survey copy by mail, call CNY Arts at 315-435-2155. Interested individuals can also receive updates on the initiative by following CNY Arts on Twitter (@CNYArts, #EngageCNY).