The Belfast waterfront. Photo by Ramona du Houx
The Belfast Area Creative Coalition, a Waldo County-based nonprofit organization formed in 2012 whose mission is to create cohesion and coordination for Waldo County’s vibrant arts and cultural sector, is leading an effort to develop a Waldo County Arts and Cultural Plan. The Coalition intends to create a comprehensive, data-driven, community-designed plan, one when completed will utilize resources strategically and thoughtfully, identify community priorities, enhance the quality of life for residents, provide strategies to enhance and develop arts and cultural opportunities for residents, and recommend policies to expand the area’s creative economy.
The planning effort was launched in late 2018, and the Coalition is now entering its next phase - the collection of input through surveys. The Coalition strongly feels that feedback from the community is essential to ensure that this plan accurately reflects their values, priorities, and concerns. The Coalition is interested in receiving input from those who live, work, and/or spend time in Waldo County, including residents, artists, and cultural organizations. These surveys were designed based on feedback obtained from a series of community forums that were held throughout Waldo County in late 2018. The data that will be collected through the surveys will be used to identify the goals for the Waldo County Arts and Cultural Plan.
According to the Belfast Area Creative Coalition’s Executive Director, Larraine Brown, "Waldo County is brimming with rich arts and cultural activity in the form of historic, traditional, contemporary, and original visual art and performance. The Waldo County Arts and Cultural Plan and the surveys are set to benefit all corners of the county in a myriad of ways - to point the way to the future as Waldo County citizens imagine what they want it to be, to reveal opportunities for increased support of the arts and our artists, and to serve as a mirror to see what is already happening in all parts of the county. I hope that people take a few minutes to fill out these surveys, it's a great way for you to have your say and to make a difference."
There are three versions of surveys that can be completed: 1) a Public Opinion Survey; 2) an Artist & Performer Survey; and 3) a Cultural Organization Survey. The Coalition is asking respondents to complete the survey or surveys that best apply to them. Each survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete. As an incentive, anyone who completes a Public Opinion Survey will be entered into a prize drawing, with winners to be announced in June. All three surveys are available online at http://reinholtconsulting.com/projects/waldo-county/.
The Belfast Area Creative Coalition is being assisted in this planning effort by the Maine-based firm Reinholt Consulting. Individuals with questions regarding these surveys or the planning effort itself, or who wish to request paper copies of the surveys, are encouraged to contact either Larraine Brown, Executive Director for the Belfast Area Creative Coalition, at (207) 218-1144 or email@example.com, or Saskia Reinholt of Reinholt Consulting, at (207) 218-2072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.