To compete in a competitive regional, national and even international marketplace, cities take strategic steps to attract talent and businesses. Major metropolitan areas across the country have long planned and prioritized for schools, parks, health care, recreation, libraries and other infrastructure.

Increasingly, focus is turning to planning for and sustaining cultural advantage to provide residents with the diverse experience, economic stability and quality of life that they deserve.

Cultural plans map out a regionís cultural future. Hereís how it is generally done:

- Research existing resources and emerging needs

- Gather community input

- Establish cultural priorities and a vision for how the plan
will affect the region

- Develop an action plan

The action plan includes universal needs, like funding and leadership, and detailed programs and tactics that address specific needs, like arts education in public schools or incubators for students and artists.

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