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Adopted by the Boise City Council on February 7, 2017, the City of Boise’s Cultural Master Plan is an overview of existing cultural resources and strategic vision for future investments. It’s a tool for leaders to understand the evolution of Boise’s rich history, tell the story of Boise’s communities, and recommend where we go to develop an integrated, vibrant cultural environment.


The plan came from the vision of over a thousand Boise residents. It is their diverse perspectives that provide insight into the depth of Boise’s cultural scene reflected in this plan. After reviewing citizen input, research, and the SWOT analysis, the staff of the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History identified five goals and measurable strategies that are necessary to fully develop Boise’s lasting, innovative, and vibrant future.

  1. Develop Cultural Policy
  2. Enhance and Preserve Neighborhood Places
  3. Maintain and Develop Cultural Assets
  4. Foster Organizations & Partnerships
  5. Expand Cultural Resources for Individuals

In addition, staff outlined strategies for each goal that will be evaluated or updated regularly to measure successes and respond to changing conditions.


By analyzing the information gleaned through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews, staff has developed a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to address through goals and strategies. Here is a snapshot:


  • Boise has many established cultural organizations and facilities
  • The community has great respect for and engagement in the cultural programs and events provided


  • Boise lacks of a central facility to explore local art, history, cultural assets.
  • Artists lack cultural space, including all-ages performance centers, artist studios, and theater, dance and music rehearsal rooms.


  • There are capital priorities related to arts and history that may require reevaluating the Percent-for-Art ordinance to broaden allowable expenditures or identifying additional capital investments.
  • Private investment in public art, cultural facilities, other cultural assets, or programming can be spurred with incentives or policies that encourage such investment.


  • Declining corporate and individual philanthropy threatens the stability of established local cultural organizations and could impede the development of new efforts.
  • The limited number of visual art galleries, museums, or other venues in Boise for established and emerging artists makes it difficult for those artists to show and sell their work.

This comprehensive citywide cultural plan lays the groundwork for the next five to ten years of cultural development. To implement this plan, citizens and organizations need to support its initiatives through continual input, action, and revision. Community and business leaders may contribute by providing input to Arts & History Staff and elected leaders (Mayor David H. Bieter; Boise City Council) regarding priorities and by investing their own resources in Boise’s creative community.

The public is also invited to participate in upcoming public meetings. See Events for ways you can inform a legacy document that will contribute to Boise’s creative life and result in a vibrant and highly livable city. By investing in culture, we strengthen our people, community, and economy.

To see the full results of the SWOT analysis, please head to the Cultural Master Plan.