Pima Cultural Plan

The City of Tucson and Pima County, Nature Arts Culture Heritage Organizations, over 500 non-profit arts and cultural organizations, artists, and public participants made their case in the Pima Cultural Plan.

The planning process began in November 2006, led by Bill Bulick of Creative Planning Inc. The study focused on the following topic areas:

  • Identity and Distinctiveness
  • Creative Economy and Enterprise
  • Arts, Cultural, and Natural Spaces and Facilities
  • Public Art
  • Capacity Building and Business Development
  • Arts and Cultural Education
  • Government Policy
  • Resources

These topic areas represent the over-arching priorities identified in the cultural planning process. Each topic is broken up into a series of detailed recommendations which act as a suggested master plan for the cultural development of Tucson and Pima County. The Plan also identifies our diverse cultural landscape and sets goals for recognizing and building upon Tucson and Pima County’s natural resources and social and cultural equity. The Pima Cultural Plan’s community-based content, along with Mt. Auburn Associates and Americans for the Arts “Arts and Economic Prosperity Report” produced evidence of the economic impact of the art and culture to the city and county.

The Pima Cultural Plan inspires action in the community. The following examples reflect the effect of a successful cultural planning process and further reinforce the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s commitment to the Pima Cultural Plan as a living iterative document.

Capacity Building and Business Development

  • A Partnership has been formed with the Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to strengthen capacity within small and mid sized arts organizations of historically under represented communities, through grant making and professional development.
  • National Association of Latino Arts and Culture; Regional Arts Training Conference. In response to the Pima Cultural Plans charge to “Advance skill sets and management practices for artists, creators, cultural businesses and arts and cultural organizations focused on developing leadership within minority communities” the Tucson Pima Arts Council, with support from the Southern Arizona Community Foundation, hosted a regional conference of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) April 24 – April 26, 2008. The regional conference offered training workshops to strengthen professional development opportunities and foster theoretical and aesthetic discussion with the Hispanic and Latino community. The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and the Tucson Pima Arts Council, the hosting agencies for the regional conference, with attendees from Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona.
  • The Tucson Artists Musicians Healthcare Alliance (TAMHA) has emerged as an alliance of artists and arts advocates to provide healthcare information and resources to the artists and musicians of Tucson and Pima County. TAMHA has generated a data base of over 500 supporters, has begun to develop partnerships in the community, is conducting needs assessments and has provided healthcare resources for a variety of charitable music concerts.

The Nature, Art, Culture, Heritage, Organizations (N.A.C.H.O.s) are committed to the Pima Cultural Plan and its implementation strategies. The alliance illustrates the type of leadership and stewardship the plan has resulted as members of the arts, business, and civic sectors leverage the Pima Cultural Plan in the community.


“There is a tremendous opportunity to unite the community behind recognizing, preserving and building upon Pima County’s unique mix of cultural assets, as intrinsic to stewardship of place. Renewed and more vigorous leadership and investment can make the crucial difference in maximizing the potential for positive impact, resounding to future generations. The Plan recommends strengthening the Tucson Pima Arts Council as a cultural leader for the region, but its most important role with respect to the Plan will be as a catalyst and convener of multiple implementers.” 

– Bill Bulick, Facilitator for the Pima Cultural Plan