Biddeford is looking for input from the public, businesses, nonprofits and others to craft a plan for cultural development. Courtesy Photo

BIDDEFORD — The City of Biddeford wants to craft a plan to guide cultural development over the next five years.

City officials are seeking input and engagement from the community — from businesses, nonprofits, individuals and local government.

The public is invited to share their perspectives on arts and culture in Biddeford at three public meetings, which will be held online, via Zoom. The first, set for Monday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon, is intended for business leaders, while the second meeting on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. is intended for artists and makers. The third meeting, set for March 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., is intended for municipal leaders. Links for members of the public to join the Zoom meetings are available on the City of Biddeford website calendar at prior to the meetings.

The cultural plan creation is funded by a $10,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission. The grant was awarded to the city on behalf of the Biddeford Cultural Coalition, a collaboration of local arts and cultural organizations including Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford Historical Society, and the Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center, according to Biddeford Communications Coordinator Danica Lamontagne.

The planning process is intended to assist in building the capacity — essentially the strength and sustainability — of existing arts and cultural organizations, and to strengthen their collaboration to increase the number of arts, cultural events and programming in Biddeford.

The Biddeford Cultural Coalition has selected Reinholt Consulting of Philips from among five bidders to produce this plan. Saskia Reinholt has produced similar plans for several other communities in Maine, including Westbrook, Freeport, and Belfast.

“The arts and culture are a critical part of local economies, and cultural planning is an essential part of regeneration strategies for communities,” Reinholt said. “Incorporating cultural planning into a community’s toolkit contributes to community and economic development, which can help ensure that Biddeford’s revitalization continues.”

The final plan, expected to be completed by early fall, will provide a vision, goals and objectives, an implementation plan, and a funding plan to guide the creative economy in Biddeford for the next five years, said Lamontagne.

For more information on the Biddeford Cultural Plan project, contact Saskia Reinholt at 218-2072.

Comments are not available on this story.