The arts and culture are a crucial part of our local economy, especially in the downtown. For several years the Biddeford Planning and Development Department has worked closely with Biddeford’s arts and culture organizations, like Engine, Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford Historical Society, and Biddeford Culture and Heritage Center, encouraging strong collaboration among the groups and working to expand the capacity of each organization. This collaboration is known as the Biddeford Cultural Coalition (BCC).
In April 2020, the Planning and Development Department applied for a grant from the Maine Arts Commission on behalf of the BCC to produce a cultural plan for the city. A grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded for this purpose.
A plan such as this has several goals:
- Build capacity of existing arts and culture organizations;
- Encourage new arts and culture organizations where appropriate;
- Strengthen collaboration among these organizations to increase critical mass of events and programming and to provide economies of scale;
- Demonstrate the clear value of the arts and culture sector to contribute to community and economic development;
The city is pleased to have selected Reinholt Consulting of Philips, Maine from among five bidders to produce this plan. Their work in this field comes highly recommended by the Maine Arts Commission. Reinholt has produced similar plans for several other communities in Maine, including Westbrook, Freeport, and Belfast. A plan like this will provide a vision, goals and objectives, an implementation plan, and a funding plan to guide the creative economy here for the next five years.
This project is expected to be completed by the early fall of 2021.