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Sparking a cultural planning process in Portland, Maine

In January 2017, Creative Portland embarked on a cultural planning initiative to encourage partnerships and collaborations within the arts and culture community and test the waters regarding capacity and interest in a larger-scale planning effort. CivicMoxie was hired to conduct a citywide report assessing current strategic plans from major stakeholders and to interview major arts organizations and city partners in Portland. Key priorities were identified including a focus on improvements to the downtown Arts District, identifying strategies for creating affordable artists and nonprofit spaces, and coordinating and collaborating on services and goals across entities. CivicMoxie prepared a Phase 1 executive summary report based on the existing plans and on community feedback.


Civic Moxie interviewed and conducted focus groups with approximately three dozen stakeholders, representing arts and cultural organizations, artists, city partners and creative enterprises. Recognizing that the growing arts and culture sector in Portland is the foundation of the creative economy, the planning process sought to take advantage of alignments of missions, goals, and interests of arts and cultural organizations, city agencies, creative businesses, and individuals to make the best use of community assets and achieve ambitious goals for residents and businesses. Creative Portland has used the Phase 1 report to tailor its strategic initiatives and move forward. The results of the CivicMoxie work were the impetus for a keynote address by Susan Silberberg at the Shaping the Future of Portland Conference in October 2017.

Project type:

Arts and culture, community engagement, placemaking

Project Name:

Creative Portland Cultural Plan



Creative Portland

City of Portland


Portland, ME


June 2017

Project Type:

Arts and culture, community engagement, placemaking

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