The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) unveiled a new five-year statewide strategic plan, a central guide to creating a more vibrant, far-reaching and impactful arts and culture sector in the state.
Over the course of nine months, the COA worked with artists, arts organizations, government agencies, community leaders, and philanthropists from across the state to better understand the current state of the arts, as well as generate ideas and innovative solutions for making the arts more readily accessible for all.
“Connecticut is known for being the home of some of the best and brightest artists in the world, and we want to continue spreading the word about the rich cultural environment that we have throughout every corner of our state,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said.
“Data already tells us that the arts sector is a powerful contributor to Connecticut’s economy. The arts create jobs for over 36,000 Connecticut residents, generates $653 million in statewide economic activity, and improve overall quality of life in communities,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture at the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). “By designing and implementing our new strategic plan, we are reinforcing the message that the arts are a vital part of everyday life in Connecticut.”
The ultimate goals of the community-centric process were to review and assess the COA’s mission and vision and guide the next five years of work for the office. The planning process, designed to engage COA constituents in a unique “charrette” (a facilitated design workshop), not only provided insight from the field to inform the future work of the COA, but also gave the facilitators training in an innovating and meaningful approach to soliciting feedback.
Some highlights of the strategic plan include:
- The COA has developed its first-ever equity, inclusion and access statement, which places an emphasis on engaging with a diverse array of community members in arts policy, practice and decision making.
- The COA has devised a strategy to maintain continuous collaboration across the cultural, public, private and social sectors, as well as members of the communities served.
- The COA is committed to investing in arts education to provide a pathway for future artists and audiences who will support and invest in the arts in the coming decades.
“Artists, arts and cultural organizations and their audiences statewide, certainly those in the public and private sectors who value and support their work, will be encouraged by the new five-year strategic plan developed by the Office of the Arts,” said Fritz Jellinghaus, Chairman of the Connecticut Arts Council. “The process itself, inclusive and intentional, involving hundreds of stakeholders across the state, results in recommendations and specific actions designed to meet the expectations of arts creators and consumers alike who want a flourishing arts environment and strong, growing creative economy. We all have a stake in the success of this strategy.”
The COA is part of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. The entire strategic plan is available here.