Over the span of about eighteen months (August 2019 – October 2020), the DeSoto Arts Commission guided a planning process to discover opportunities for further development of the arts in DeSoto. Through this process, Commissioners looked deeply at their own operations, analyzed trends in the field of arts management and considered the city’s geographic positioning between the neighboring mega arts cities of Dallas and Ft. Worth. Commission members reviewed ways to build a stronger arts and cultural sector for DeSoto by envisioning opportunities to embed creativity into the city’s comprehensive plan and across other city departments. Throughout the planning period, the Commission focused on the idea of collaboration as a key lever for boosting public participation in the arts. The planning process responded to several key questions posed by members of the Arts Commission and DeSoto residents, which frame the recommendations included in this plan. Key Questions • What is the potential for the arts in DeSoto? • How have like-sized communities developed their arts sectors? • What are some immediate steps the Commission can take to encourage greater public participation in the arts? • How might a strong arts community affirm DeSoto’s identity as a great American city? • What can the DeSoto Arts Commission do to increase the number of artists and arts organizations producing cultural programs in the city? • Where are the spaces and places that can invite the public to see that the arts are readily available to audiences of all ages? Responses to these questions have led to some exciting new ways to “Imagine DeSoto!”

Margie Johnson Reese, Principal MJR Partners


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