Creating a Community-Generated Cultural Plan

Arts Alive hosted a Plenary Session at the Thorne Sagendorph Gallery on the Keene State College campus on December 10th. The program included a panel discussion on the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study and how different participants have used the data, from planning to development work.

John Hoffman, an incorporator of Arts Alive!; Beth Brown of MoCo Arts, Tara Kessler of the City of Keene; and Terry Williams of the Keene Sentinel all spoke on the impact of the data in their work, and the importance of a strong Creative Economy in the Monadnock region.

After the panel, the group of 35 attendees, primarily from the nonprofit arts & culture sector, broke out into small groups to discuss three questions:

  • What does a flourishing cultural community look like?
  • What support do arts organizations need to enhance success?
  • What actions can Arts Alive! take to make a difference?

The groups brought back some great ideas, including asking for more networking; having a dedicated planning calendar, separate from the Discover Monadnock regional events calendar; promoting arts events more; expanding the audience and volunteer demographics to include younger populations; and helping find other sources of funding.

Arts Alive!’s marketing committee, Discover Monadnock committee, and Artist to Artist program are all looking at strategies to address the needs communicated at the Plenary. We will be responding to these ideas in active ways. Please continue to read the Arts Alive! newsletters, forward them to friends, and share our posts on social media so the arts community can fully take advantage of the exciting developments we’re planning.

To learn more and sign up to participate in the Arts & Economic Prosperity Study, visit our website:

What does a flourishing cultural community look like?


  • Accessible to various audiences
  • Active advocacy
  • Integration with other sectors
  • Cooperative Advertising


  • Programming calendar
  • Community statement on WHY arts are important


  • More community participation in arts funding
  • More resources to help organizations access grants & foundations
  • More Sources - outside of the box ideas on and connections to funding


What support do arts need to enhance success?


  • Business building skills
  • Different nonprofit arts business models
  • How to implement integration practices with different community sectors


  • Reframe the community’s idea on what a nonprofit is / does
  • The importance and value of arts integration


  • Finding new funders AND partners
  • Build new audiences

What actions can Arts Alive! take to make a difference?


  • Provide opportunities to network w/in the sector
  • Provide opportunities to network w/ other sectors
  • Connect arts organizations with state leadership programs
  • Connect arts organizations with younger audiences/volunteers
  • Offer / communicate opportunities to connect with funders
  • Connect Arts Alive! to other organizations around the state and country doing similar work

Training and education

  • Board trainings on identified topics
  • How to use available resources, like Discover Monadnock


  • Connect arts organizations with younger audiences
  • Publish an annual directory of regional arts organizations
  • Enhance Discover Monadnock’s work to promote arts-specific events


  • Share access to available grant and other funding opportunities
  • Reinstate a dedicated programming Calendar