The City of Chico Arts Master Plan


Developed by the City of Chico Arts Commission and approved by the City Council on July 21, 1993

The Arts, consisting of the general areas of visual, performing and literary arts, are a creative means of self-expression and understanding which contribute to the health and quality of life in a community. This Arts Master Plan represents a recognition by the City of Chico of the need to actively participate in the artistic and cultural development of its citizens. The role of the Arts Commission in fulfilling this need is to serve as an advocate for the Arts, and as a community partner in the design and development of the City’s cultural and arts programs which encourage citizen participation.

The following goals, objectives and policies are the key elements of this Plan. In order to achieve their full implementation, a strong, cooperative effort among government, business and arts organizations is essential. The implementation strategy and time line, developed by the Arts Commission and approved by the City Council, is central to this effort. To fund such implementation, emphasis will need to be placed on non-City funding sources such as Federal, State and private foundation grants since the availability of City funds will be limited.

As used in this Plan, the terms “encourage,” “support,” “promote” and the like do not imply a financial commitment or obligation on the part of the City. Instead, the City will encourage, support and promote the arts primarily by facilitating cooperative efforts, both intergovernmental and between government, business and arts organizations, and through other means as well, to achieve the goals and objectives of this Plan.

Goal 1

To provide opportunities for the artistic and cultural development of the citizens of Chico.

Objective No. 1

To develop and maintain an environment that encourages diverse program activity in the Arts.

  1. Provide through an advisory Arts Commission a forum for arts concerns and recommendations of the elected officials and their staff concerning arts issues.
  2. As funds become available, encourage the City Council to establish an administrative staff having an arts background to provide on-going encouragement and support of community art programs.
  3. Continue utilization of the concept of contracting for cultural and arts services with local arts organizations and individual artists.
  4. Involve the various City boards, commissions and departments as necessary in coordinating the diverse arts opportunities offered by the community.
  5. Encourage citizens to take advantage of arts programming offered by other agencies and institutions in the community.
  6. Provide financial assistance whenever feasible to groups or individuals who provide public arts programming to the community.
  7. Encourage University, business and community cooperation in programming, financing and other support of artistic and cultural events and opportunities.

Objective No. 2

To develop and expand municipal arts facilities to assist in meeting the needs of organizations that provide arts services through the use of such facilities.

  1. Consider forming a Arts Commission subcommittee to assist in the development of a plan to build a arts complex or municipal performing arts center, and to promote the establishment of an outdoor amphitheater in Bidwell Park, in cooperation with the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission.
  2. Consider the planning, development and funding of new or augmented arts facilities that may be needed.
  3. Consider cooperative arrangements between the City and local, state and federal agencies to provide needed arts facilities for the community.

Objective No. 3

To expand the City’s role in providing works of art in public places.

  1. Implement and fund City programs for the installation and maintenance of works of art in public places.
  2. Encourage private business, through development incentives and other non-monetary incentives, to exhibit and install works of art in their public areas.
  3. Seek out and encourage private businesses to make their public places available for visual and performing arts programs.
  4. Establish on-going sources for the funding of public art such as a percentage for art program.
  5. Encourage cooperative arrangements between the City and local, state and federal agencies to provide works of art for exhibition in public places.

Goal 2

To facilitate the education of all citizens in the development of their creative skills and an appreciation for the Arts.

Objective No. 1

To cooperate with and coordinate efforts between local organizations, private and public educational institutions and private industry in providing a range of experiences and skill development essential to a well-rounded cultural environment.

  1. Provide funding and other assistance whenever possible to organizations that provide arts educational experiences to the citizens.
  2. Provide direction, encouragement and support for the continued development of a variety of arts activities in the City.
  3. Encourage the establishment of a wide range of programs for adults and children that develop the skills of the participants at all levels of creative expression.
  4. Support the development of a arts organizational network and information distribution system which would make citizens aware of training programs and performance opportunities which are available in local public institutions and/or private organizations.
  1. Promote the development of a forum for critical expression.
  2. Support programs such as art-in-the-schools, artist-in-residence and other programs which allow children and non-artist citizens to experience various art forms.
  3. Support programs which provide opportunities for children to learn about diverse art styles.

Goal 3

Support the development of artists and their access and exposure to the community.

Objective No. 1

To facilitate access to public and private spaces that are compatible with the exhibition of art works and the performance of artistic programs.

  1. Facilitate the utilization of free public exhibition spaces.
  2. Encourage citizens to view and/or participate in the various local exhibitions and performances of art works and programs.
  3. Foster private and public funding of art exhibits and performances.
  4. Encourage exhibition and performance partnerships between artists and all sectors of the community.
  5. Promote the establishment of a community liaison to assist artists looking for exhibition and performance space.

Objective No. 2

To encourage the development of spaces that are compatible with the needs of studio artists, craft persons and performing artists.

  1. Consider the development of cooperative funding arrangements to provide suitable space for art studios , rehearsal halls and performance facilities .
  2. Consider appropriate amendments to City zoning and other ordinances to facilitate the location and establishment of art studios, rehearsal halls and performance facilities. Review land use policies to encourage, for consideration, the location and establishment of art related facilities without infringement upon adjacent land uses.
  3. If alternative community storage space is limited or unavailable, support the allocation of appropriate storage space for the storage of art works.

Objective No. 3

To promote media exposure and public information regarding arts performances and exhibitions.

  1. Support and/or facilitate the use of public access television facilities for this purpose.
  2. Publicly and formally recognize (e.g., through a mayor’s award, etc.) artistic achievement of individual artists, and collaborative efforts of artists and other individuals (e.g., architects).
  3. Recognize the information media’s contribution to the promotion of the arts.

Goal 4

To integrate the work and thinking of artists, along with that of other design professionals, into the planning, design, building and development of Chico in order to achieve the highest standards of design for the City.

Objective No 1

Promote the installation of visual art and art treatments in and on City-owned buildings, facilities and open spaces.

  1. Visual art and art treatments should be integrated into the design of public works projects undertaken by the City, including bridges, streets and sidewalks, parks and public buildings.
  2. Promote the redevelopment or retrofitting of existing public facilities and spaces to install visual art and art treatments.
  3. Promote collaboration and partnerships between artists and architects, engineers, etc.
  4. Establish an “Art in Public Places” subcommittee of the Arts Commission to recommend art works to be installed in public places.

Objective No. 2

Promote the voluntary installation of visual art treatments throughout the City as development and building occur.

  1. Support the participation of art professionals and experts in the City’s architectural and design review processes.
  2. Consider the development of art treatment standards to be used by the City in evaluating the design of private sector projects.

Goal 5

To support diversity in the arts.

Objective No. 1

Promote ethnic and culturally diverse art programs, both in education and exhibitions, to promote greater cultural and ethnic understanding and appreciation.

  1. In goals 1 through 4, to the extent possible, include, promote, implement and instill cross-cultural elements into their implementation.
  2. Develop liaisons with groups in the community to promote the understanding of diverse art forms and the like.

Goal 6

To promote and support the development of long term fiscal strategies to assist local arts organizations in maintaining their stature and contribution to the quality of life of the community.

Objective No 1

Develop fiscal strategies for the promotion of quality arts programs.

  1. Support the development of a non-profit “friend” auxiliary organization to generate additional funds through fund-raising activities, donations and grant programs, and the establishment of a non-profit foundation or fund to receive such funds.
  2. Encourage research into available grants for matching, development and organizational support for the City and local arts organizations.
  3. Support the development of corporate, local business and individual donations, in-kind matches, facilities and other organizational support for the City and local arts organizations.
  4. Encourage the formation of business/arts partnerships which are mutually beneficial.
  5. Encourage the “adoption” of individual arts organizations by corporations, local business and individuals to assist in providing various levels of organizational support.
  6. Support the liaison between arts programming and tourism for the development of increased revenues affecting both local business and the arts organizations.

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