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Cultural Plan

Get Involved

Create Charlottesville/Albemarle: A Cultural Plan is a living document for our community. It represents a shared vision and we encourage residents, businesses, and nonprofits to take an active role in implementing the suggested strategies. To get started, we recommend that you:

Read the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle cultural plan
If you don’t have time to read the entire document, simply read one or two of the goals that are particularly interesting to you. To view a PDF of the approved plan, please click here.

Share the cultural plan with your network
Think about individuals or organizations that would be interested in reading or getting involved.

Ask questions
No matter what uncertainties you may have, PCA can help clarify the goals and strategies of the plan.

Take action
Think about parts of the plan that you find interesting and plan ways that you or your board can work within our community to help achieve these goals.

Tell us how it goes
The impact of the cultural plan depends on the actions of local community members and groups. If you decide to work on any of the strategies related to Create Charlottesville/Albemarle, please let PCA know so that we can help promote the work you do.

If you are interested in getting involved, or you or your organization would like to implement one of the cultural plan strategies, please contact gram@charlottesvillearts.org.

What Is Create Charlottesville/Albemarle?

As the designated local arts agency of Charlottesville and Albemarle, PCA coordinated the development of the area’s first-ever cultural plan, titled Create Charlottesville/Albemarle. This plan will help community stakeholders prioritize and strategically respond to needs and opportunities in the area’s cultural sector.

The planning process launched in January 2013 and involved a 28-member Steering Committee,PCA working group, and task forces, as well as interviews and focus groups with more than 200 area citizens and an electronic survey completed by 1,000. The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study data and other recent area research were also incorporated into the planning process.

Public feedback on the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle draft was accepted through September 2, 2013 and the comments were incorporated into the final stages of the planning process.

At the final Steering Committee meeting on September 13, 2013, the draft of the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle plan was reviewed and unanimously approved by the Steering Committee. On November 18, 2013, the Charlottesville City Council unanimously voted to endorse the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle cultural plan as well.

Dr. Craig Dreeszen, a national expert on community cultural planning, led the assessment and Steering Committee meetings and wrote the plan. PCA Consultant for Research & Planning Maggie Guggenheimer served as plan coordinator, liaising between PCA, Dreeszen, the Steering Committee, task forces, and the broader community.

The finalized plan was announced to the community with a January 2014 launch event at The Paramount Theater.


Why Cultural Planning Matters

Based on examples from other cities, a cultural plan will enhance quality of life and creative economic development initiatives. The plan enables more strategic local investment in arts and culture, with a greater return on that investment for the community. It also better equips PCA and our partners to respond to arts-related needs. Create Charlottesville/Albemarle will enhance promotion of cultural, economic development, and tourism interests; increase collaboration among artists and arts organizations; and improve services provided to our citizens and visitors. It also helps area funders, public and private, understand prioritized needs in the arts community so they can make more informed funding decisions.

PCA has received financial support from the City of Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Albemarle County, the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts to undertake this important initiative. Additionally, more than forty-five area arts and cultural organizations have endorsed the planning process. Many other organizations have shared their support for PCAs efforts by participating in theArts & Economic Prosperity IV study and/or as a member of PCA. This broad arts-community support exemplifies the need for and will increase the success of the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle plan.


Steering Committee Meeting Notes – January 17, 2013
Emerging Themes – January 2013
Steering Committee Meeting – March 14, 2013 report
Task Forces Summary List – March 14, 2013
Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Steering Committee Draft – July 24, 2013

Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Survey Report
Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Survey Presentation

Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Draft – August 12, 2013
Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Final – September 13, 2013
Press Release: Steering Committee Approves Cultural Plan – September 16, 2013
Support the Arts Brochure


February 5, 2014
Insufficient Funds: Can public money grow Charlottesville’s arts scene?
C-Ville Weekly

January 13, 2014
Nonprofit Introduces Cultural Plan for Charlottesville, Albemarle
Charlottesville Newsplex

January 12, 2014
Local Arts Council Set to Unveil Charlottesville Cultural Plan
Charlottesville Newsplex

January 10, 2014
Council for the Arts to Host Launch Party for “Cultural Plan”

January 8, 2014
Albemarle Supervisors endorse cultural plan for region
Charlottesville Tomorrow

September 14, 2013
Arts leaders adopt cultural plan
Charlottesville Tomorrow

August 26, 2013
Piedmont Council for the Arts Collecting Feedback on Plan

August 19, 2013
Piedmont Council for the Arts seeking feedback for cultural plan
The Daily Progress

May 18, 2013
Groups seek greater investment in arts & culture
Charlottesville Tomorrow

January 17, 2013
Create Charlottesville Aims to Improve Art Community

Public Meetings

All four Steering Committee meetings were open to public observation and announced on the PCA website at least two weeks in advance. The Steering Committee meetings took place on January 17, May 16, July 2, and September 13, 2013.

Steering Committee Members

Paul Beyer Willa Neale
Leslie Bowman Toan Nguyen
Kakie Brooks Pete O’Shea
Martin Chapman Andrew Owen
John Conover Susan Payne
Dean Dass Gloria Rockhold
Sarad Davenport Beryl Solla
John D’earth (Co-Chair) Rodney Thomas (Ex Officio)
Andrea Douglas (Co-Chair) Elsie Thompson
Satyendra Huja (Ex Officio) Peter Thompson
Matt Joslyn David Toscano (Honorary Chair)
Janet Kaltenbach Rob Vaughan (Co-Chair)
Jody Kielbasa Roberta Williamson
John Mason Russell Willis Taylor