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7-23-14

Regional effort
focuses on future
of the arts

by Stephanie Eaton
Landmark reporter

Do you want to help make the arts more rewarding, purposeful and meaningful across the Platte County region?

The officials involved with the ONEARTSKC want to hear from you.

The organization will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at the Platte County Community Center South, located at 8875 Clark Avenue in Parkville.

According to Erik Bergrud, Platte County representative on a steering committee leading the effort, the ONEARTSKC Regional Cultural Plan is a community engagement planning process that will make the arts more rewarding, more purposeful, and more meaningful to all residents across the region.

The regional steering committee for the ONEARTSKC Regional Cultural Plan held its first meeting in March. Five counties participate in the plan and have a designee for each county. Bergrud said he represents Platte County.

“This plan is intended to create a blueprint for success in the arts and culture sector within Platte County and the other four counties of our metropolitan area,” Bergrud said. “Instead of proposing a regional tax for the arts, this plan will promote community collaborations and sharing smart practices.”

According to Bergrud, the cultural plan is being developed for several different reasons.

“With $1.5 billion in new arts facilities and infrastructure many of our community leaders are asking what we do next, how do we make the most of that investment, and how do we leverage the cultural amenities we have created and assure they will be sustainable. There was also a recognition that much of this growth took place in a relatively narrow corridor, and that a broader discussion would benefit arts organizations in Weston and Parkville just as it has in Kansas City and Overland Park.”

Bergrud believes residents should get involved with the ONEARTSKC Regional Cultural Plan.

“From our schools to our community centers to our world-famous institutions, the arts enlighten us, inspire us and showcase our region as a cultural hub. The arts attract and retain top talent to the region. A vibrant and thriving arts community with a clear and agreed upon vision for growth and development can help to make our region more competitive in the 21st century.”

Bergrud said residents can visit the organization's website to learn more about the plan.

“I encourage all residents to visit http://oneartskc.mindmixer.com/ not only to learn more about the plan but also to add comments and suggestions related to specific proposals and concepts.”

Bergrud also encourages residents to attend the Town Hall meeting.

“This spring, we held focus group sessions with artists, business leaders, educators and elected officials to get a better sense of the state of the arts in Platte County. This Town Hall meeting will provide residents an opportunity to provide input on topics ranging from arts education to cultural facilities to community calendars.”

According to Bergrud, officials hope to accomplish a lot as a result of next week's meeting.

“We want to listen to Platte County residents on July 29. We also hope that attendees leave the Town Hall more committed to the future of the arts in Platte County. Broad citizen participation is essential in crafting a plan with realistic goals and expectations that makes sense for Platte County.”