Arts Council of Fort Worth, Texas

In both 2001 and 2014, the Arts Council of Fort Worth, Texas led community-based cultural planning project, engaging WolfBrown consultants to assist in leading both planning efforts. The second initiative (2014-2015) was based on the earlier comprehensive planning initiative and was considered an update, rather than an entirely new planning project.

2014-15 Cultural Plan Update

This mid-sized city makes up half of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and is the home to several internationally renowned arts institutions, including the new and acclaimed Bass Performance Hall and the Louis Kahn-designed Kimbell Museum. In the twelve years since completion of the 2002 Cultural Plan, the City of Fort Worth has developed at a rapid pace. The city’s Arts Funding Task Force, instated by Mayor Betsy Price, recommended an update to the 2002 Cultural Plan to better reflect the current needs among Fort Worth’s art establishments and residents. The Arts Council of Fort Worth and the City of Fort Worth invited WolfBrown consultants back to Fort Worth to embark on updating plan for the city in 2014.

Over the course of ten months, WolfBrown consultants and staff from the Arts Council of Fort Worth worked closely with local leadership and the public to reexamine the needs of the city related to arts and culture. Through public meetings, committee reviews, and interview sessions, combined with financial analyses of cultural organizations and best practice research in targeted areas relevant to key focus areas of the plan, an update of the original 2002 Cultural Plan was developed to retain, preserve, and enhance the best of Fort Worth’s cultural past and present while building the quality of life for the new century. Areas of focus included education, economic development, funding for arts and culture, diversity and inclusion, and strengthening the cultural ecology. The 2014 Cultural Plan was presented to Fort Worth City Council on January 27, 2015. A copy of the completed plan update can be viewed here.

2001-2001 Planning Initiative

A team of seven WolfBrown consultants worked for eighteen months to develop a cultural plan for the community. The project was overseen by an Advisory Committee of over fifty of the most influential civic, education, and business leaders in the City, including the Superintendent of Schools, the Mayor, heads of various foundations, and CEOs.

During the course of the project, the consultants met with over 250 people from all walks of life in interviews, small group meetings, and public sessions. They also conducted extensive research on cultural education, the financial condition of arts groups, as well as comparative research on public sector arts funding. A draft plan was submitted in December 2001 and was reviewed and revised by local participants until the full Advisory Board approved it in June 2002.

The plan was comprehensive and addressed neighborhood and community cultural development, cultural education, cultural tourism, the needs of arts organizations and artists, as well as public and private sector funding. The key recommendation of the plan was to increase the level of public sector support, which the consultants’ research indicated was very low.

Even before the final version of the report was approved, a task force of high level City officials and civic leaders was convened to identify potential funding sources.

Year complete: 2014
Consultants (2014-15): Marc Goldring, Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert, Jennifer Bransom