The goal of the year-long planning phase was to develop a set of collective priorities and action steps, a roadmap for Arts and Culture, to serve the entire Summit County community including Park City, Snyderville Basin/Kimball Junction, and North and South Summit County.
The process was designed to identify needs and develop solutions that would benefit the community at large, grow investment in the creative sector, connect Arts and Culture to other city and county priorities, and support the long-term vitality of our Arts and Culture nonprofits.
A broad coalition of individuals from the nonprofit, business, government, creative, and philanthropic sectors came together to guide the process which was managed by the PCSC Arts Council.
Arts and Culture Definition
Project ABC defined Arts and Culture as the local production and presentation of events, programs, and products based on creative ideas and cultural inspiration.
The definition is intentionally inclusive and ranges from public art to the county fair; film, music, performance, and visual-arts activities to local creative businesses; and from arts education to ways the arts are part of a powerful community development strategy.
Local Arts and Culture nonprofit leaders begin to organize and advocate for support to secure stability and growth within our creative sector.
Both Park City Council and Summit County Council appoint a representative to act as a liaison to a countywide Arts and Culture Initiative Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee is formed with representatives from government, business, Arts and Culture nonprofits, and philanthropy. The committee begins to look at other plans, develops a definition of Arts and Culture, and starts to compile a list of Arts and Culture assets.
The Steering Committee formally states its support for a collaborative, countywide Arts and Culture master-planning process, and the PCSC Arts Council is appointed to take the lead management role to move it forward.
DECEMBER 2016 – APRIL 2017:
Outreach and fundraising efforts occur to generate community support and resources for the Arts and Culture master planning process.
Project ABC publicly launches.
JUNE – OCTOBER 2017:
Data-collection activities include a survey, interviews, workgroup meetings, community outreach, and engagement activities. More than 1,000 people share their ideas, needs, wants, and challenges.
Data analysis results in the identification of draft Collective Priorities and Strategic Recommendations. The Project ABC Summit is held Nov. 14 with more than 80 people coming together during a five-hour work session to review progress and findings and begin action planning.
DECEMBER 2017 – MARCH 2018:
Strategy review and meetings with key stakeholder groups are held to identify projects planned or in development that connect to specific recommendations. Three open houses offer an opportunity to gather final feedback from the community.
The Project ABC Plan is released with endorsements from key stakeholder groups. Implementation phase begins.
Project ABC was designed as a multi-stakeholder initiative, conducted with community engagement at the forefront. The core intent of the process was to listen, document, and represent the needs of the creative sector as well as develop a set of recommended solutions. As a result, this is a document for widespread community use where various stakeholders can shepherd relevant pieces forward. The combined and collective activities of different groups will help ensure that Arts and Culture in Summit County remain vibrant, collaborative, sustainable, and resilient into the future.
Data Collection & Analysis
The Project ABC research phase began with people. We conducted a number of activities to collect data from seven different stakeholder groups deeply connected to local Arts and Culture activity to understand their core values, needs, dreams, and challenges.
Nonprofit representatives, business representatives, creative representatives, government representatives, arts educators, art lovers (general public), and visitors. You can view the full stakeholder report here: Stakeholder Report
Community Benchmarking Report
We also completed a benchmark analysis of Arts and Culture activity in eight other communities that were chosen based on size, similarities to Summit County, or reputation for Arts and Culture investment. We picked a mix of communities that were both highly comparable to Summit County and were a bit divergent, but had lessons we felt were relevant here. The eight communities selected as community benchmarks were: Ketchum, Idaho; Boise, Idaho; Ogden, Utah; Santa Fe, N.M.; Breckenridge, Colo.; Boulder, Colo.; Telluride, Colo.; and Asheville, N.C. We also reviewed Arts and Culture plans from other locations including Santa Cruz, Calif., and Austin, Texas. You can view the Community Benchmarking report here: Community Benchmarking Report
State of the Arts
For the final stage of data collection, we conducted a State of the Arts assessment. This assessment looked at the personal benefits, community benefits, economic impact, and existing public-funding mechanisms related to Arts and Culture. The State of the Arts serves as a snapshot of where Arts and Culture is today. The State of the Arts assessment is available here: State of the Arts Assessment
We organized a series of 10 workgroup meetings to ensure participation and gather input directly from business, nonprofit, youth, and creative sector representatives.
We attended more than 40 meetings and events to build awareness in the process, encourage participation in the survey, and listen to what people had to say about the future of Arts and Culture in Summit County.
To assemble the entire community, share and validate findings, and move further into action planning, we convened the Project ABC Summit. More than 80 people attended this five-hour work session—the first time that a group of this size had come together to focus on Arts and Culture in Summit County. The ABC Summit helped refine the emerging priorities and create a forum for people to workshop and develop specific project ideas that connected to the draft recommendations.
The Project ABC team then took the priorities and recommendations on the road to talk with community organizations and groups and document where they were already making progress or were planning projects that would align with the Cultural Plan moving forward.
We also held three community open houses to share the final recommendations back with the larger community and offer one more opportunity to ask questions, add information on what might be missing, and communicate individual plans for the future.
This website served as a platform for our community to interact with the process and track progress. We also published a monthly newsletter to offer a formal update and opportunity for engagement. Our Facebook feed and Pinterest boards shared Arts and Culture best-practice examples, emerging research, and inspiration for followers.
While we started by collecting data about individuals and their needs, we recognized the importance of planning in a consolidated and coordinated way instead of in stakeholder silos. Once we closed our data collection phase, we looked for cross-cutting themes and areas where need was expressed by multiple stakeholder groups. We used qualitative research methods of comment coding and sorting to organize survey and interview data points into big buckets that formed our seven Collective Priorities.
We then again looked for emergent themes within each priority to identify specific ideas or solutions that cut across our stakeholder groups to form the 48 recommendations that are the basis of the Project ABC roadmap.
The nature of the cultural planning process creates a body of work for businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and other groups in Summit County. No priority or recommendation is the responsibility of one organization, rather it is the collection of implementation strategies over time that will move Arts and Culture in the direction we want to go. Given the shared responsibility for action, it is difficult to develop a concrete timeline or financing model for the recommendations. In the Roadmap section of this plan, we’ve noted a general framing for the costs associated with each Action Example, recognizing that some of the ideas cost nothing, others just a bit, and many require significant time and investment.