Alexandria Cultural Plan

Page updated on Mar 21, 2017 at 3:57 PM

Alexandria Creates Small Cropped

Alexandria's Arts & Culture Plan

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts has engaged Cultural Planning Group (CPG) to develop a comprehensive, citywide cultural arts plan that shall define the role of the Office of the Arts in supporting, producing, defining, and sustaining arts and culture initiatives throughout the city to accomplish the City’s broader goals. 

This site will be used to post information on meetings, input opportunities, etc.

Please contact Diane Ruggiero, Deputy Director at or 703.746.5590 with questions or comments.

Arts & Culture Master Plan

On Saturday December 17, 2016 City Council approved the Arts and Culture Master Plan as recommended by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Arts and Culture Plan Steering Committee. 

You can view a text version of the plan here

Alexandria Creates September 2016 Town Hall

On Wednesday, September 14 Cultural Planning Group presented early goals and strategies for the citywide arts and culture plan. The audience also participated in a polling process and an open discussion.

You can view the presentation here

Alexandria Creates Community Engagement Findings Report

The Alexandria Creates community engagement process officially launched on February 23, 2016 continued through June 30, 2016 with the close of the community survey. A mixed-method research effort using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies was employed. Public engagement activities included:

  • A Town Hall event
  • Community open house events
  • Stakeholder discussion groups and individual interviews
  • A community survey

Additional efforts were made to ensure a wide range of responses. Materials and the survey were translated into Spanish. The following core questions were asked:

  • What do you value about Alexandria’s arts and cultural life?
  • What is your vision for Alexandria’s future?
  • What do we need to accomplish the vision?

The approach provided multiple entry points for all residents, communities, and sectors of Alexandria to participate through community-based conversations, meetings, and interviews facilitated by the consultants, a town hall, and a community survey.

You can read the full report here.

About the Arts & Culture Master Plan

What is cultural planning?
Cultural planning is an inclusive process that engages residents, visitors, and various sectors to help local government identify cultural resources, needs, and opportunities and think strategically about how these resources can help a community to achieve its civic goals. Here in Alexandria, we have titled this process Alexandria Creates!

What do you hope to achieve through this process?
The goal is to create a long-term plan that better capitalizes on existing resources to make Alexandria’s arts and culture sector stronger, more accessible, more sustainable, and more diverse. Cultural planning will allow Alexandria to better integrate arts and culture into other policy areas, including education, economic development, public safety, public health, youth activities, human services, housing, parks, and open spaces. 

What does the process look like?
The process began in the fall of 2015. The arts and cultural plan is expected to be completed and approved in Fall, 2016. Throughout this process, we want to engage residents, and stakeholders in the arts through community meetings, focus groups, community conversations and a survey, asking people to tell us what is important to them. We need to understand what people see as the creative assets of the city and what their cultural priorities are. We’ll analyze the data and begin to draft a plan. 

I’m not really a creative person. Why does this apply to me?
The process is built on a framework that believes everyone engages in some type of creative pursuit. Whether you create art, write poetry or just enjoy a performance, there is a role for art and culture in all of our lives. The process is designed to discover what is important and how arts and cultural can be prioritized in the city.

How Can I Get Involved? 
This process depends upon community participation for its success. We need to hear from residents, youth, students and workers what they believe is important in arts and culture in their community. 

Are there other ways to get involved?
Join us in a discussion group or community meeting the week of February 22, 2016. See below for dates, times, and locations.

You can hold a small discussion group with your friends and neighbors. People interested in organizing their own conversations should contact Diane Ruggiero who can provide the tools needed. 

Take our survey. This online survey will take about ten minutes to complete. It’s one more way for us to understand what is important to you. You can find the survey on our website at

Share this information with your friends and family. Encourage them to get involved.

Alexandria Creates Steering Committee

As part of this process, the Alexandria Commission for the Arts appointed a diverse group of citizens and representatives from throughout Alexandria to serve on a Steering Committee for the plan development. The nine members are:

Beth Coast, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Suzie Cohen, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Gayle Converse, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Gwyn Day-Fuller, Co-Chair, Concerned Citizens Network of Alexandria
Robin Havens-Parker, Arts Forum
Michelle Kozlak, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
Dawnielle Miller, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Casa Chirilagua
John Porter, President & CEO, ACT for Alexandria
Jordan Potash, Assistant Professor, Art Therapy Program, The George Washington University