Help Develop the Countywide Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan for Cattaraugus County

News from Economic Development, Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, Posted on Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:05pm

Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism is currently developing a Countywide Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan with the assistance of MDB Insight, an economic development strategic planning firm.  Community engagement is most important to the success of the Plan. The Public is invited to attend an informational meeting on August 16th at 6:30pm in the Cattaraugus County Center, 3rd Floor Legislative Chambers, in Little Valley. If you cannot make it to the public meeting, please feel free to complete the online Survey at

The County Department recognizes the increasingly important role played by arts, cultural and heritage programs in Cattaraugus County. These assets provide experiences in engaging residents, enhancing civic pride, celebrating culturally diverse populations, and contributing to the quality of life needed to attract people and investment in local economies. Arts, Culture and Heritage can mean many things to many people. The Plan will attempt to study the broadest spectrum of these assets and include feedback from as many individuals and groups within those areas as possible. In the broadest sense, culture is anything that defines the unique identity of a community or social group. While this large definition of culture will provide a foundation to work from, the County is focusing on a more specific set of cultural resources that fall within categories such as cultural businesses (enterprises), facilities and spaces, cultural heritage, natural heritage, festivals and events, and community cultural organizations.

"With its increased importance comes a need for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to planning for the future cultural life of the community." stated Crystal Abers, Director of the Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism. "An effective Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan will produce an overarching vision and strategic planning framework to guide our Department, Cattaraugus County, its municipalities and partners in organizing, coordinating and prioritizing cultural programs and services to respond to current and future community needs."  Cattaraugus County's partners in developing the Countywide Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan include the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Amish Trail, Historical Advisory Committee, and the African American Center for Cultural Development.

The Plan will provide an inventory of assets, needs assessment, and recommendations as to enhancing current or creating new programs within the areas of arts/culture/heritage.  It is anticipated that the Plan will include recommendations that integrate marketing efforts, maximize opportunities for job growth, entrepreneurship & placemaking; and capitalize tourism economic benefits. The Plan will also investigate the feasibility of creating an "Arts Center" for all arts sectors to produce, show, and/or sell their wares & talents by providing a centrally located Center within a walkable community, which may include studios, galleries, rehearsal rooms, performance hall and more.

Your feedback is very important to the success of the Plan. For more information regarding the Plan or other topic specific group meetings, please feel free to contact Kate O'Stricker at (716) 938-2320 or email: kmostricker [at] cattco [dot] org.