By Bridget Binsbacher, Peoria
Councilmember, Mesquite District
Art is at the heart of every thriving community. The city of Peoria is painting the picture of the city’s art landscape with the launch of the new arts master plan. The city has contracted the consulting firm, Designing Local, to engage our community and create the Peoria Arts Master Plan to coincide with the city’s newly adopted General Plan. The new arts master plan will assist the mayor, city council, the Arts Commission, and city staff in defining priorities and guide our planning and decisions for the next 10 years.
The current arts master plan was adopted by council in 2009 and has served the city well in establishing the Percent for the Arts Fund, the Arts Commission, and the priorities for public art and the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. The new version of the arts master plan will focus on community engagement, positioning Peoria for the anticipated growth the city will see over the next 10 years.
Arts, culture, and recreation are key categories in the city’s livability goals, and they are distinguishing factors in differentiating Peoria from other West Valley cities. The return on investment in a strong master plan can be calculated in so many ways. It’s the tourist who comes for a photo in front of a mural, a sculpture or a lighting installation. It’s the family who buys a home because they are inspired by the local park’s public artwork. Art sets a city apart and gives it a personality. The arts create jobs, encourage critical thinking and attracts businesses to our community. Most importantly, arts, culture and recreational amenities and programs give our residents a sense of pride and belonging, create a quality of life, and attract visitors to our city.
Once we are back to in-person events, be on the lookout for your opportunity to connect with the Peoria Arts and Events Team and share your ideas for the future of Peoria. There will also be many virtual opportunities to engage as well. Collecting community input will take place this spring and, once the plan is developed, it will be presented to mayor and council. Contact the Arts and Events Division with your questions and comments at peoriaaz.gov/arts. We look forward to connecting to our community through arts and culture.