Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Cam Choy, associate professor of art at Kenai Peninsula College, works on a salmon sculpture in collaboration with the Kenai Watershed Forum during the Kenai River Festival at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on June 8, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Soldotna adopts arts and culture master plan

The plan outlines how the city plans to support arts and culture over the next 10 years

The City of Soldotna has a new strategy for bringing art and culture to their town following the city council’s adoption of a comprehensive plan last week.

The Soldotna Arts and Culture Master Plan outlines how the city plans to support arts and culture over the next 10 years, including how future labor should be divided between the city and other local groups.

“Soldotna and the surrounding area, have the potential to become a thriving arts and culture hub with temporary and permanent public art and a diversity of vibrant year-round programming for residents and visitors,” the plan says.

The plan was funded by a $20,000 grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts that the City of Soldonta matched with $20,000 in federal COVID-19 funding. Soldotna City Council members in February awarded the plan contract to Agnew::Beck.

Project Manager Laura Rhyner wrote in an Aug. 29 memo to council members that the final iteration of the plan includes feedback solicited through public meetings as well as input from city council members given during a work session held in July.

“Adoption of the plan will provide the City with clear priorities and identify necessary actions to support arts and culture in Soldotna over the next ten years,” Rhyner wrote.

Included in the final iteration of the plan are, among other things, a list of ways that arts and culture contribute social and economic development, examples of ways the city is already working to support its arts and culture scene and synthesizes responses from a community survey.

Recommendations included in the plan for ways to boost arts and culture include the city identifying art and murals and an allowable expenditure under existing grant programs, establishing an arts and culture advisory committee and building partnerships with the Dena’ina Language Institute to incorporate traditional place names into the town.

The full plan can be viewed on the city’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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