Arts and Culture Plan


The City of Fayetteville has long been a beacon of arts and culture in the region, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to fostering an environment where the arts can thrive. This dedication is rooted in a rich history of support and collaboration, notably with the University of Arkansas in establishing the Walton Arts Center in 1992. The importance of arts and culture has been a consistent theme in city planning, evident as early as the Downtown Master Plan of 2004, which highlighted the need for municipal action to bolster the arts and culture ecosystem.

Furthering this commitment, the Fayetteville Arts Council was established in 2007 through an ordinance, subsequently reaffirmed and updated in 2010 and 2019. With the help of citizen input, the city has been integrating arts and culture into various facets of city life, including in economic development strategies and the Welcoming Plan. Notable achievements include the creation of the Cultural Arts District and The Ramble project, which enhanced connectivity within the sector.

Despite these strides, the city's 2040 plan revealed a gap: a defined strategy for the arts and culture sector. Recognizing this, the Parks System Master Plan, adopted in February 2023, explicitly recommended the formulation of a comprehensive Arts and Culture Plan. This plan aims to provide strategic direction and reinforce Fayetteville’s identity as a hub of cultural richness and artistic innovation.

Partnership with Stilwell Consulting

Stilwell Consulting of Colorado will lead the development of the Fayetteville Arts and Culture Plan. Their expertise in crafting inclusive, dynamic, and sustainable cultural strategies will be instrumental in shaping the future of arts and culture in our city.

The Roadmap: Phases of the Plan

The plan's development is structured into four critical phases:

Work Planning (November-December 2023): 

Laying the groundwork for the project, setting objectives, and outlining the approach.

Research and Discovery (December 2023-January 2024):

Conducting comprehensive research to understand the current state of the arts and culture sector in Fayetteville and identifying opportunities for growth and development.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement (February-August 2024): 

This phase is at the heart of the plan. Through various engagement initiatives, we will gather input and insights from a wide range of stakeholders, including artists, cultural organizations, community leaders, and residents. This collaborative approach ensures that the master plan reflects the diverse voices and visions of the Fayetteville community.

Strategy Development and Implementation Plan (June 2024- Plan Adoption): 

Building on the insights gathered, we will develop a strategic plan that outlines actionable steps to realize our vision for a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture ecosystem in Fayetteville.

Join Us on This Journey

We invite the Fayetteville community to be an active part of this exciting journey. Your participation, ideas, and support are crucial in shaping a master plan that truly reflects the spirit and aspirations of our city. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to get involved in shaping the future of arts and culture in Fayetteville.

  1. Joanna Bell

    Arts & Culture Director