The City of Wichita's Division of Arts & Cultural Services is a local art agency that works to support and advance Wichita's arts community and foster collaborations and connections with statewide, regional, and national arts partners.
Arts & Cultural Services is responsible for:
- Managing day-to-day operations of CityArts, Mid-America All-Indian Museum, and Old Cowtown Museum
- Managing the City's Public Art Collection and implementation of the Percent for Art Program
- The implementation of the Cultural Arts Plan
- Coordinating citywide community events as they relate to the Community Event Ordinance
- Administering the Cultural Funding Program and managing partnership agreements with Cultural Institutions
- Provide staff support and leadership to the following boards:
- Cultural Funding Committee
- Design Council
- Arts Council
- Tourism Business Improvement District Advisory Board
- Historic Wichita Cowtown, Inc. Board
- Mid-America All-Indian Museum Board of Trustees
- CityArts Advisory Committee
Cultural Plan Under Review
The City's current Cultural Plan was written in 2008 and amended in 2013. In an effort to make sure our priorities reflect those of our residents, and to develop a framework that helps anticipate future needs, we have begun the long process of rewriting the Cultural Plan, an effor that began in mid-2022 with the help of Wichita State's Public Policy and Management Center. The first major step was identifying and selecting members for the Cultural Plan's Steering Committee, a group effort between the City of Wichita and the PPMC that stressed engaging new voices who had not necessarily been a part of previous planning processes. The Steering Committee's monthly meetings kicked off in November 2022, and since then, they have been working with PPMC and City Staff to imagine a new plan for Wichita. PPMC has been holding and will continue to hold focus group sessions with stakeholders, and they have planned several in-depth interviews with other local cultural leaders. That information is then relayed back to the Steering Committee as they continue their work. We anticipate releasing the new Cultural Plan in early 2024.
The Cultural Plan Steering Committee is made up of the following members:
Taben Azad, Wichita Foundation/Wichita Asian Association
Cheyla Clawson, WSU College of Fine Arts
Ricki Ellison, Chamber of Commerce
Mina Estrada, Harvester Arts
Chris Garcia, Brickmob
Jason Gregory, Greater Wichita Partnership, Downtown Wichita
Dr. Tim Jones, Wichita Symphony Orchestra
Tim Kauffman, Sedgwick County
Sarah Kephard, Envision Art Gallery
Donte Martin, City of Wichita
Lela Meadow-Conner, mama.film
Beth Oaks, Cultural Funding Committee/Arts Council
Kate VanSteenhuyse, KCAIC
Max Wilson, Crown Arts Collaborative
The Current Cultural Plan
As outlined in the 2013 Cultural Arts Plan Addendum the Division of Arts and Cultural Services Vision and Mission Statements are:
Vision Statement: Arts and culture are essential to vital, healthy urban communities; we recognize that Wichita is home to people from throughout the world whose gifts of art, culture and customs are rich resources to be shared; we acknowledge that arts reflect the character of a city and its inhabitants, and that experiencing arts and culture is nourishing and life affirming; therefore, the mission of the City of Wichita through the Division of Arts and Cultural Services is as follows:
- To establish a cultural system that ensures that ALL Wichita citizens and visitors have an opportunity to experience the finest in arts and culture.
- To oversee the Division of Arts and Cultural Services, which develops, implements, administers and promotes programs or initiatives that support this mission, and reflect the City's core values of integrity, leadership, innovation, commitment, sensitivity and teamwork.
- To provide the funds and other resources sufficient to ensure the accomplishment of this mission, including efforts that strengthen arts and cultural organizations by envisioning the arts as key elements in the City's Cultural Tourism and Economic Development efforts.
- To work cooperatively with the Arts Council which is designated by the City Council to be the focal point committed to arts and culture and who are representative of the community, to develop and oversee the policies necessary to meet the City's mission and shall include appointed City council members.