Dallas — On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved the new Dallas Cultural Plan that the Office of Cultural Affairs has been working on for more than a year, with meetings around the city, under the leadership of Jennifer Scripps.
This is great news considering that the new plan has language that points out the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, of culturally specific groups and small-budget groups, individual artists and concerns about communication and media.
“The adoption of this Cultural Plan is a key part of Dallas’ continued growth as an economically rich, vibrant and resilient community," said Mayor Mike Rawlings in the news release. "The arts sector and our local artists, who contribute $900 million to our city’s economy each year, are some of the city’s best assets, and they have the power to imagine and create a better Dallas. I look forward to seeing the Office of Cultural Affairs and their partners begin the work and the strategies detailed in this plan.”
So, as the angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America said at the end of the first part of the pair of plays, "now the great work begins."
Here's hoping that other cities in North Texas take note and follow suit.
In the video above, you can watch the section of the City Council meeting that focuses on approving the cultural plan. Before the discussion from various council members, and the vote, you'll see brief speeches from three Dallas arts leaders: Kenneth Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals; Charles Santos of TITAS Presents; and Joshua King, co-founder of the AURORA festival.
Below are the two items on the City Council agenda that pertain to the Cultural Plan, and below that is the official news release from the Office of Cultural Affairs. You can see the full council agenda here.
31. 18-829 A resolution (1) authorizing the adoption of the Dallas Cultural Plan 2018 as the cultural plan for the City of Dallas; (2) authorizing the adoption of a new cultural policy for the City of Dallas; and (3) authorizing and establishing the Cultural Projects Funding Program, Cultural Vitality Program, and Community Artist Program to support artist and cultural services in the City of Dallas - Financing: This action has no cost consideration to the City (see Fiscal Information)
32. 18-880 An ordinance amending Chapter 2, "Administration," of the Dallas City Code, providing (1) that the City Manager is authorized to approve certain contracts with intergovernmental agencies without further city council action; (2) clarifying the definition of collectible property to mean property owned by the city that is under the care and control of the Dallas Museum of Art; (3) removing WRR radio station from duties of the director of convention and event services; (4) renaming the cultural affairs commission to arts and culture advisory commission; (5) renaming the arts committee to the public art committee; (6) clarifying the definition of public art committee; (7) providing that the director of cultural affairs may manage approval of lease or license agreements for use of cultural facilities for short terms not exceeding a year; (8) providing that the director of cultural affairs may award cultural funding contracts to cultural organizations and individuals; (9) providing that short-term lease and license agreements with small or ethnically and culturally specific nonprofit arts and cultural organizations may be entered into for nominal consideration; and (10) providing procurement rules and regulations for cultural services - Financing: No cost consideration to the City.
Here is the news release:
The Dallas City Council voted unanimously today to adopt the Dallas Cultural Plan, an updated Cultural Policy, and an enabling ordinance. With this new plan and its supporting policies, the City of Dallas through its Office of Cultural Affairs will work with partners to harness its arts and cultural strengths to address the city’s challenges. The Dallas Cultural Plan affirms the City’s commitment to supporting a vibrant arts and cultural ecosystem in collaboration with its artist, cultural organization, funder, and other partners.
“This is an exciting moment for all residents of Dallas – many of whom worked with us to create this Plan via in-person meetings, online, social media, and more,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Jennifer Scripps. “Through this plan, we discovered how much residents care about arts and culture, worked with them to create plans to bring arts and culture to them in their neighborhoods, and learned how our arts and cultural sector can come together to create more vibrant communities. We are so thankful for everyone who gave time to share what they wanted for our future, and for the donors who generously funded this process.”
The Plan is the result of hundreds of meetings across the city of Dallas with nearly 9,000 residents and local artists and arts leaders who identified the top six priorities for arts and culture: Equity, Diversity, Space, Support for Artists, a Sustainable Arts Ecosystem, and Communication. It identifies 31 strategies and 140 initiatives to create an equitable, diverse and connected community whose residents and visitors thrive through meaningful arts and cultural experiences in every neighborhood across Dallas.
“The adoption of this Cultural Plan is a key part of Dallas’ continued growth as an economically rich, vibrant and resilient community," said Mayor Mike Rawlings. "The arts sector and our local artists, who contribute $900 million to our city’s economy each year, are some of the city’s best assets, and they have the power to imagine and create a better Dallas. I look forward to seeing the Office of Cultural Affairs and their partners begin the work and the strategies detailed in this plan.”
The Plan was generously funded in a public-private partnership by the residents of Dallas, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Hoblitzelle Foundation, the Meadows Foundation, the Perot Foundation, PNC Bank, Texas Instruments, and an anonymous foundation. Its development was guided by the City-Council appointed Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and a steering committee of local arts and cultural leaders.
“Thank you to the thousands of Dallas residents who shared with us their hopes for arts and culture,” said Jennifer Scripps. “We are honored to serve the entire arts ecosystem of Dallas. We look forward to implementing this plan, to really bringing it to life, alongside our artist and organization partners.”
To read a full version of the plan, policy, and enabling ordinance, please visit the Office of Cultural Affairs’ website at https://dallasculture.org
The Office of Cultural Affairs works to enhance the vitality of the city and the quality of life for all Dallas residents by creating an equitable environment wherein artists as well as arts and cultural organizations thrive; people of all ages enjoy opportunities for creative expression; and all celebrate our multicultural heritage.
Our mission is to support and grow a sustainable cultural ecosystem that ensures all residents and visitors have opportunities to experience arts and culture throughout the city.
TheaterJones will be following the progress of implementation of the plan, so stay tuned.