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Peoria is painting the picture of the city’s arts and culture landscape as the Peoria Arts Master Plan process begins this year. The city of Peoria is seeking feedback about the arts from residents through a survey, focus groups and virtual meetings.

“Arts are the heart and soul of our community,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat. 

“Art is an expression of our unique character, adding not only to the vibrancy and energy around us but also to the cultural and economic value of Peoria. The most critical aspect of this plan update is input from our residents. I encourage every citizen to take a moment to share in the creation of Peoria’s brightest future.”  

The city has contracted with the consulting firm, Designing Local, to engage the community, compile feedback and create the arts master plan to coincide with the city’s newly adopted general plan. 

The current arts master plan was adopted by council in 2009 and helped establish the Percent for the Arts Fund, the Peoria Arts Commission, public art priorities and the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. 

The new version of the master plan will focus on community engagement while positioning Peoria for the anticipated growth the city will see over the next decade. By evaluating existing programing, events, facilities and public art in Peoria and combining it with resident feedback, the new arts master plan will address community needs and broaden access to the arts. 

The new plan will assist the mayor and city council, the Peoria Arts Commission and city staff in defining priorities and guiding decisions for the next 10 years. 

“As with all established programs, regular reevaluation is needed to ensure that the city is meeting the needs of its residents while effectively investing in the arts,” said Chris Hallett, Peoria neighborhood and human services director. “Our aim is to provide world-class arts and cultural offerings to Peoria residents and visitors while also celebrating our community’s spirit and artistic expressions.”

Residents can participate by taking the short survey and/or by joining a focus group. To take the survey or sign up for a focus group, visit peoriaazarts.com. The survey will be open until Friday, April 2. Following the public comment period, a draft master plan will be presented to council in late 2021.