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Arts & Culture90.3 WBHM | Birmingham -- Now that officials with Region 2020 and a Massachusetts-based consulting firm have released their long-awaited arts and cultural master plan for Birmingham/central Alabama, volunteers are needed to serve in different groups to help attain the plan's goals. Priority areas include facilities, funding, technical assistance and neighborhood education.

"The success of the master plan depends on all of us," said Kate Nielson, president of The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. "This important work cannot be done without the continued involvement of citizens and arts organizations." Nielson is co-chairing the arts and cultural master plan implementation process.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Elizabeth Sims at Region 2020.

After nearly a year of research, public hearings and facilitated group meetings, Boston-based consultants Wolf, Keens and Company released their findings and laid out arts and cultural needs for the 12-county Birmingham region. Among the needs found in the report: increased funding for arts organizations, more cooperation between arts groups and local and state government and more minority participation in the arts.



History of the arts and cultural master plan

| Birmingham -- In the last ten months, there have been several public hearings and meetings - complete with facilitators - to discuss the details of a regional arts and cultural master plan. At the meetings, hosted by Region 2020, participants -- many of them leaders in arts organizations statewide -- discussed specific problems and possible solutions in the Birmingham area arts community.

At the outset of the arts and culture master plan discussion a year ago, civic leaders and residents showed up for an initial presentation and a chance to speak up about future plans. The open house broke ice between the consultants and the arts community. Some people in attendance told the panel that only a select few wield much of the community power and control with regard to money and publicity. A vast amajority called the initial step toward a master plan a constructive beginning with much to do.

Organizers say the final report, released at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham annual meeting, mirrors what's been discussed in the past year. They also say many of the community concerns are addressed in the master plan.



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