The City of Biddeford is initiating an effort to develop a cultural plan that aims to engage multiple sectors of the community, including local government, businesses, nonprofits and individuals.
The cultural planning process is supported by a $10,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission. The grant was awarded to the City of Biddeford on behalf of the Biddeford Cultural Coalition (BCC), which is a collaborative effort of local arts and cultural organizations such as Engine, Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford Historical Society, and Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center.
The planning process is intended to assist in building the capacity of existing arts and culture organizations, and to strengthen their collaboration in order to increase the amount of arts and cultural events and programming in Biddeford.
Community input is a top priority as the group investigates existing cultural resources in Biddeford and crafts a plan that will guide cultural development over the next five years. The public is invited to share their perspectives on arts and culture in Biddeford at three public meetings, which will be held via Zoom. The first meeting, which will take place on Monday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., is intended for business leaders, while the second meeting on Thursday, February 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. is intended for artists and makers. The third meeting, set for Thursday, March 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., is intended for municipal leaders. Links for members of the public to join the Zoom meetings will be available on the City of Biddeford website calendar at www.biddefordmaine.org prior to the meetings.
The Biddeford Cultural Coalition is pleased to have selected Reinholt Consulting of Philips, Maine from among five bidders to produce this plan. Their work in this field comes highly recommended by the Maine Arts Commission. Saskia Reinholt has produced similar plans for several other communities in Maine, including Westbrook, Freeport, and Belfast.
“The arts and culture are a critical part of local economies, and cultural planning is an essential part of regeneration strategies for communities,” Reinholt said. “Incorporating cultural planning into a community’s toolkit contributes to community and economic development, which can help ensure that Biddeford’s revitalization continues.”
The final plan, which is expected to be completed by early fall of 2021, will provide a vision, goals and objectives, an implementation plan, and a funding plan to guide the creative economy here for the next five years.
For more information on the Biddeford Cultural Plan project, please contact Saskia Reinholt at 207-218-2072.