Components of a Cultural Planning Process

A comprehensive cultural planning process typically includes:

  • establishing a leadership team to inform plan development, outreach, and engagement;
  • conducting an inventory and assessment of key findings: individuals, organizations, institutions, and other arts and culture assets on public and private land; and
  • developing a community vision and action plan, and identifying resources needed to implement the vision.


The process to develop a cultural plan often includes the establishment of committees, working groups, and/or task forces that will assist with data collection and outreach and engagement to produce the plan components. A cultural plan working group may be established and include government staff from different departments and agencies including representatives from the community, including business owners, artists, and arts organizations.

Conducting an inventory and assessment

Cultural assessment involves qualitative and quantitative data analysis of arts and culture strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This component of work involves an inventory of relevant studies and plans that may pertain to arts and culture; an assessment of arts and culture needs and opportunities identified by the artist community and the broader community; and the identification and mapping of tangible and intangible cultural assets. See cultural asset mapping for more information.

Developing a vision and action plan

Development of a vision and action plan is informed by the outreach and engagement process. The action plan will include identification of strategies and actions to strengthen arts and culture resources, and establish a governance model to monitor and assess progress in implementing the plan, e.g., ongoing cultural mapping, and a funding plan to promote implementation.