Current Road Map for Cultural Development in Lowell

On the Cultural Road: City of World Culture, Strategies for the Creative Economy in Lowell, Massachusetts

A lot of thought, effort, and money were invested in developing this road map for cultural development several years go. The first Lowell Cultural Plan (1986) was at least a ten-year campaign. That report was revised and updated in the mid-1990s, when the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission (LHPC) was about to sunset as a federal agency, with major implications for cultural activity in the city. In 2001, a community conference yielded another update of the plan with new objectives, 2001: A Cultural Odyssey. The creative economy plan linked above came in the latter part of last decade. On the Cultural Road remains relevant with many good objectives to be pursued. Lowell has done well when the community as a unit has adhered to a plan, whether that was the General Management Plan of Lowell National Historical Park, The Preservation Plan of the LHPC, or other guides. Every plan must be continually reviewed and reassessed in light of changing circumstances, but the broad outlines and certain specific action steps should show the way forward and spell out priorities. Otherwise, it is difficult to make progress with competing agendas and short-term thinking and acting. Without a good road map, you can find yourself going around in circles.