Arts and Culture Planning draws from many other forms of planning, community development, and artistic practices. Below is a list of ideas and tools - complete with links to additional resources from MAPC and beyond  - to accelerate your engagement with the field.

The content below is divided into three categories to help you navigate and situate knowledge based on whether the topic is generally about a concept or approach, a place-based intervention, or a people-focused engagement. However, these categories may remain fluid as this practice demands that people, place, and ideas are woven together.

Learn More

To help people begin the journey of discovery to deeper understanding of the arts’ long-term social impact, Americans for the Arts has produced the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, an online primer (with downloadable fact sheets) that draws together top-line research, example projects, core research papers, and service/partner organizations about 26 different sectors, all in an effort to make more visible the incredible, wide-reaching impact of the arts.

This 280-page book assesses 20 arts-centered community development projects and provides a step-by-step GUIDE to building economic, social, civic and physical infrastructure of communities through the arts. Commissioned by the McKnight Foundation. Includes case studies from urban, rural and suburban communities and best practices related to ten successful community building strategies. Fieldstone Alliance (formerly A.H. Wilder Foundation Publishing Center), St. Paul, MN and Partners for Livable Communities, Washington, DC, 2006.


APA’s Planning and Community Health Research Center has developed a series of briefing papers on how planners use strategies including arts and culture to achieve economic, social, environmental, and community goals.

This is one of several briefing papers created by the APA’s Planning and Community Health Research Center on how planners use arts and culture to achieve economic, social, environmental, and community goals.

The Fourth Pillar provides a clear definition of CULTURE, analyses its function within the emerging new planning paradigms, and proposes practical measures for the integration of a cultural perspective into the public sphere.

This paper from the National Endowment for the Arts, written by Springboard for the Arts’ Laura Zabel, explores different strategies and techniques for integrating the ARTS into planning.