The city of Upper Arlington has started a review of its Cultural Arts Division that will be used in conjunction with public feedback to produce an arts-and-culture master plan to guide future programs as well as goals for public art displays.

At this year's Labor Day Arts Festival the city rolled out a nine-question, online survey -- available at https://upperarlingtonoh.gov/parks-recreation/arts-plan -- that is part of what city officials expect to be a nine-month process that will include additional community outreach to enable residents to share their thoughts about the quality of the arts in Upper Arlington, which will in turn help guide the types of events and public exhibits the Cultural Arts Division provides in the future.

"The city of Upper Arlington has enjoyed a vibrant arts program for almost 50 years, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Cultural Arts Commission and the work of our Cultural Arts staff in the Parks and Recreation Department," said Debbie McLaughlin, Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation director. "The purpose is to ... develop a plan that will provide a clear vision for the future of public art and art experiences in UA and guide the Cultural Arts Division and Cultural Arts Commission."

Lynette Santoro-Au, manager of the city's Cultural Arts Division, said having such a division and celebrating creativity "is one of the hallmarks of our community."

"We believe that a great community deserves great art," she said. "We strive to enrich the quality of life of the community through providing art in community spaces and diverse experiences in arts and culture.

McLaughlin said information gleaned from the survey and the department review will be used to outline goals for public art in Upper Arlington, identify "relevant themes and priorities" and to identify strategic partnerships and possible sources of alternative funding as well as direction for "ongoing program development and management."

The review is being facilitated by Columbus-based consultant firm Designing Local, which will receive up to $54,505 to help the city collect public feedback about the arts in Upper Arlington. The company also will help analyze results to offer recommendations for goals and future programs.

"The Arts & Culture Master Plan will outline goals that include short- and long-term priorities with implementation strategies and estimated costs," McLaughlin said.

The online survey will be available through Sept. 30. After that, the city has scheduled an Oct. 29 public meeting to communicate results of the review and collect resident feedback. The meeting is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

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