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Cultural Capacity Plan

Cultural Capacity Plan

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From December 2022 through September 2023, the City of Somerville invites you to participate in its capacity-building and cultural planning process. 

Capacity-building will help develop the skills, abilities, and processes of Somerville's creative individuals, organizations, and institutions to grow the city’s network and support of arts and culture offerings, resources, and services. 

Cultural planning is a process that focuses on Somerville specific activities and engagement in order to create a community-generated vision and action plan for strengthening and growing arts and culture assets across the community.
How to Participate

Residents and cultural workers in Somerville are encouraged to participate in the process in a variety of ways, including:

  • Host a community conversation in your living room or at your cultural organization
  • Attend a community Forum or Town Hall (in March, June, and September 2023)
  • Complete the survey
  • Share feedback on draft recommendations 
  • Become a leader, catalyze your networks, and represent your cultural community as a Cultural Ambassador on the Advisory Committee. Nominate yourself or others for this paid position using this form by TDB.

Why Now? 
With the third largest share of architects and designers, and the fourth largest concentration of visual artists, musicians, and other performing artists out of any city or town in Massachusetts, Somerville is a hub of the local creative economy. While the city’s recent building boom has created the potential for the development of new arts spaces, the arts community is questioning its ability to capitalize on this growth and flourish in the future. This concern stems from the challenges brought on by COVID-19 as well as the fragmentation of the city’s policies, organizational capacity, and institutional support. To learn more about the challenges artists face in Somerville, please see the Somerville Arts Space Risk Assessment.
How this Plan will be Different

The Somerville Cultural Capacity Plan will engage the local arts and culture community to explore ways to strengthen and improve access to Somerville’s cultural assets.

Building on previous cultural planning efforts in Union Square and pre-planning work initiated in 2020, the Somerville Cultural Plan will provide the container for cross-cultural conversations that will build capacity for cultural change by establishing the vision, policy framework, implementation strategies, organizational structures, and funding requirements needed to develop Somerville’s cultural community in ways that weave arts and culture into other policy and practice areas and help this community to flourish. The City of Somerville has hired Forecast Public Art and Solomon Office to lead this effort.  
Be a part of the process:
Nominate yourself or someone else for a leadership position by TBD. Late applications will be accepted on a case by case basis.

  1. Engage your artistic or cultural community (estimated up to 6 hours/month December 2022 – June 2023)

    *   Artistic or cultural communities may include: residents, visual artists, performing artists, culinary artists, musicians, makers/artisans, designers/technologists, and more

  2. Represent your cultural community on the Advisory Committee

What’s next?

From December 2022 - June 2023, community members will be invited to:

  • Participate in or host a community conversation
  • Participate in a Town Hall conversation
  • Respond to a survey
  • Comment on draft recommendations

If you have further questions, or want to find other ways to get involved, please contact Daniel Koff at