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Developing a Cultural District

Choose a Consultant

Sometimes your cultural district may need the help of a consultant for planning, marketing, fundraising, etc. Download: Choosing a Cultural District Consultant (pdf, 109KB)

Find the Right Partners

Creating partnerships and choosing partners is an important step in the development of a successful cultural district. These partners can range from a small nonprofit arts organization to a large real estate developers. Download: Types of Partners for Cultural Districts (pdf, 201KB)

Acquire Funding

There are many ways cultural districts are supported through different types of funding structures. These structures may include special taxing districts, business improvement districts, state funding, federal programs, etc. Download: Cultural District Funding Structures (pdf, 951KB)

Make a Marketing Plan

Developing a successful marketing plan and its implementation is an important component to creating a sustainable, viable cultural district. Download: Cultural District Marketing Plans (pdf, 423KB)

Plan your Cultural District

Planning for a cultural district is often required to become a certified cultural district in a state. This can be done in a variety of ways. Download: Planning for Your Cultural District (pdf, 975KB)

Learn more about plans and their focus types, including:

  • Downtown area
  • Strategic plan
  • Economic development
  • Main Street/Historic
  • Facilities/Properties
  • Business improvement
  • Cultural Plan
  • Design and Public Art
Create Legislative Descriptions

Many states and local jurisdictions have created legislation for the development of cultural districts. This is often necessary for the development of incentives and enhancements for cultural districts. Download: Cultural District Legislation (pdf, 627KB)

Advancing a Cultural District

Hold Events in your Cultural District

Festivals and events create opportunities to engage the community and the visitors of your cultural district. Events may include arts walks, studio tours/open Studios, outdoor performances, concerts, street performers, and film festivals. Download: Cultural District Events (pdf, 518KB)

Provision a Public Art Agreement

Public art can be an important component of a cultural district. Utilize this sample artist agreement for the provision of public art within a Cultural District. Download: Public Art Agreements for Cultural Districts (pdf, 203KB)

Provide Useful Signage

Signage can be an important marketing component of a cultural district - it lets visitors know that they are in the cultural district and helps them find their way around the area. Download: Cultural Districts Signage (pdf, 311KB)

Make Space for Artists

Cultural districts often include designated spaces for individual artists who are interested in locating in a district. These spaces may include gallery spaces, exhibit spaces, and artist live/work spaces. Read more about all three types of artist spaces that can be found in cultural districts, and see examples of artist spaces in cultural districts across the country. Download: Artist Spaces in Cultural Districts (pdf, 605KB)