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Developing a vision: Analysis of cultural planning in six peer regions and recommendations for Greater Milwaukee

At the request of local private funders, the Public Policy Forum has undertaken research that is designed to inform Greater Milwaukee’s civic leaders about the strategies other regions have employed to conduct cultural planning/visioning efforts, and to identify a possible path for proceeding with such an effort in Milwaukee if such an approach is pursued.

We conducted a national scan, identifying about 20 comparable metro areas that have recently completed a cultural planning process. From that list, we chose plans from six communities to explore in depth:

  • Northeast Ohio (2000): Northeast Ohio’s Arts & Cultural Plan
  • San Diego (2006): pARTicipate San Diego: The Case for Increased Patronage for Arts and Culture in the San Diego Region
  • Oklahoma City (2009): Strategies for Tomorrow: A Cultural Plan for Oklahoma City
  • Kansas City (2013): KCMO Arts Convergence: Becoming a 21st Century Cultural Center
  • Kansas City/Region (2015): ONEARTSKC: Regional Cultural Plan
  • Minneapolis (2016): The Minneapolis Creative City Road Map: A 10-year Strategic Plan for Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

Our analysis is based on a review of each community’s final published plan documents, as well as phone interviews with individuals who were closely involved in the creation of the plans. The six plans were selected based on our desire to capture insights from specific contexts that we felt were relevant to decision-making by Metro Milwaukee civic leaders.