By Ben Olson
The first draft of the Sandpoint Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Master Plan has been completed and the city of Sandpoint is now seeking the community’s input on the plan for the final draft.
A second community survey was launched last week to get feedback on the goals and visions within the draft plan, as well as the overall plan. The feedback from this survey will be incorporated into the final plan, which will be presented to the City Council for adoption during the Jan. 6, 2021, meeting.
Earlier this year, the city engaged Lakota Group and Surale Phillips to conduct a citywide cultural arts assessment; look at the city’s historic preservation program and policies; establish historic contexts for the city; make recommendations; and set goals for arts, culture and historic preservation. In addition to the first community survey, the consultants have worked with a local steering committee chosen for their various relevant backgrounds, the Sandpoint Arts and Historic Commission, as well as other stakeholders in the community to prepare this first draft of the master plan.
The first draft highlights a number of goals to improve the arts, culture and historical preservation in Sandpoint.
“Historic buildings and places are the physical expressions of local heritage,” Lakota Group consultants wrote in the introduction to the draft plan. “Public art, music, painting, sculpture, dance and other forms of creative practice are ways in which a community expresses its history and culture — telling its stories of the past, its people and traditions.”
The plan aims to make arts more accessible in Sandpoint by “building bridges to new arts patrons and participants, inspiring the next generation of preservation advocates and creating new collaborations.”
For the city of Sandpoint, the plan will potentially serve as a rubric to justify decision making on allocating resources to preservation and arts initiatives. For the broader community, including local businesses, property owners, preservationists and arts enthusiasts, the plan will serve as a resource to stimulate new ideas and ways of thinking on collaborations that can achieve a stronger community historic preservation ethic and a vibrant arts and culture scene.
“The plan provides the spark for imagination and creativity to make Sandpoint a compelling destination for heritage and arts,” the Lakota Group wrote.
One keynote to the plan is the fact that while Sandpoint is filled with historic buildings, only eight are actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The survey is available online at opentownhall.com/9972. The survey site includes a link in the introduction to the draft master plan as well. The survey will be open through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28.
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