Code of the District of Columbia

§ 39–231. Creation of a cultural plan.

(a)(1) On or before April 30, 2017, the Director of the Office of Planning (“Office”) shall submit to the Mayor and the Council and post on the Office’s website a comprehensive cultural plan (“Plan”). Before that date, the Office shall oversee the solicitation, through a request for proposals, of a private cultural-planning firm to develop the Plan.

(2) The request for proposals to develop the Plan shall propose compensation for the firm developing the Plan that does not exceed $200,000. The Office may accept contributions from private foundations to defray additional costs, if any, of compensating the firm that develops the Plan.

(3) At a minimum, the Plan shall include:

(A) Recommended means by which the District may increase participation in cultural activities throughout the District and address the desires of residents of each of the 8 wards with respect to art and culture policy in their neighborhoods;

(B) An outline of the city’s cultural policies and the means of implementing those policies and a study of the economic benefits and the impacts on quality of life, community development, and cultural literacy of those policies;

(C) A proposed process for community decision-making regarding cultural activities that focuses on neighborhoods, engages and encourages community input, and supports access to the arts and cultural programming in neighborhoods;

(D) An analysis of whether some neighborhoods are better served than others with respect to cultural activities and proposals to remedy the disparities;

(E) An analysis of the needs of artists and other members of the creative economy and recommendations regarding steps that may be taken to retain and otherwise support such individuals in the District’s current real-estate environment, including recommendations with regard to the creation of both long-term and temporary affordable studio and rehearsal space, including space that otherwise would remain vacant, as well as affordable housing for artists and other members of the creative economy;

(F) An analysis of the current state of arts education in District of Columbia Public Schools and District public charter schools and recommendations regarding the improvement of arts education in the District;

(G) An analysis of the means by which District agencies can incorporate the arts to enhance their missions while better serving the cultural needs of the District. On or before November 1, 2015, each District agency shall submit its own analysis of those means that shall be incorporated in the Plan;

(H) An examination of means by which the arts can be incorporated into community and economic development planning processes and policies;

(I) Recommendations as to means by which the District can create a more arts-friendly regulatory structure, specifically with regard to facilitating performances and exhibitions that seek to engage the public in a public setting; and

(J) Any existing data sets regarding the distribution of cultural resources throughout the city, as well as any other existing data sets relevant to the Plan.

(4) All recommendations, initiatives, and priorities included in the Plan shall be indicated as being proposed to occur in a short-, medium-, or long-term timeframe and categorized by the following budget ranges: under $50,000; $50,000 to $250,000; $250,000 to $1 million; and over $1 million;

(5) The development of the Plan shall occur in a transparent and accessible fashion. Whenever feasible, the Office shall utilize appropriate technology to enhance outreach and communication with the public during the development of the Plan.

(6) The Office shall consult with the Commission on the Arts and Humanities in the development of the Plan.

(7) To the extent feasible, any agency implicated by the conclusions and recommendations of the Plan shall incorporate those conclusions and recommendations into its budget and programming.

(b)(1) A Cultural Planning Steering Committee (“Committee”) shall be formed to assist in the implementation of the Plan. The Committee shall consist of at least 3 members of the arts and creative economy community with relevant arts and creative economy expertise and each of the following individuals, or his or her appointee:

(A) Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development;

(B) The Director of the Office of Planning;

(C) The Executive Director of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities;

(D) The Chairperson of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities;

(E) The Chairman of the Council’s designee;

(F) The Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue’s designee; and

(G) The DC BID Council Executive Director.

(2) The Committee shall meet with the Office and representatives of other affected agencies on a quarterly basis to track the progress of the recommendations in the Plan, beginning with the first quarter after submission of the Plan to the Mayor and the Council.


(Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 1072, 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 7022(a), 63 DCR 10775.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 1072 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).