The City of Soldotna is close to finalizing a master plan for arts and culture in the city after winning a state grant. The plan will create a streamlined process for working with artists and creators in Soldotna, and will address how arts and culture money will be distributed by the city, as well as how the city will support arts in public spaces. The plan was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the city used relief funds to produce a live production of The Little Mermaid with Triumvirate Theater. The city hired local consulting group Agnew::Beck to create the master plan and conducted a survey to gather public feedback on the plan.
Quoting KDLL, the City of Soldotna is making strides towards establishing a master plan for arts and culture in the city. This plan has been in the works since Soldotna won a state grant last year, and the city has been soliciting public feedback this spring to create a streamlined process for working with artists and creators in the area.
Laura Rhyner, the Assistant to the City Manager of Soldotna, explained that the idea for an arts master plan came about during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city used COVID relief funds to help produce a live production of The Little Mermaid with Triumvirate Theater, which sparked interest in continuing arts and culture programs in the city. However, they realized that they needed a better process for awarding arts and culture ventures, leading to the creation of this master plan.
The city received a grant in December to fund the master plan, with half of the funding coming from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and other grant s, and the other half being matched by the city. The funding has gone towards hiring local consulting group Agnew::Beck to create a master plan for how arts and culture money will be distributed by the city and how the city will support arts in public spaces.
Previously, individuals would approach the city with specific ideas for arts-related projects, but now the city is working to create a formalized process for seeking arts-related support. Rhyner explained that having a master plan is a classic strategy for the city, as they already have plans for areas such as Comprehensive, Downtown Improvement, and Parks and Rec, Trails.
The consultants hired by the city started by gathering public comment on the master plan and looking at similar programs around the state. A survey was opened in April and closed in mid-May, asking community members about their desires and concerns when it comes to arts events and programming in the city. The survey asked community members what types of arts and culture assets they engage with and which arts assets they’d like to see more of in the community.
The survey was distributed throughout the Central Peninsula area, beyond the boundaries of the city of Soldotna. The results of the survey will be used to create a master plan for arts and culture in Soldotna, which will include a strategy for moving forward with arts and culture initiatives in the city.
To sum it all up, the City of Soldotna is taking steps to support the arts and culture in the area, recognizing its importance to the community. With the creation of a master plan for arts and culture, the city hopes to provide a formalized process for supporting arts-related ventures and initiatives, making it easier for artists and creators to work with the city and bring their projects to life.