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Mass Cultural Council Adopts a New Strategic Plan

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

Charting our path forward for FY24-FY26

photo of staff and board members sitting at a long table, a wall of post-its hanging behind them from a strategic planning exercise
Mass Cultural Council members and staff at the Agency’s strategic planning retreat on March 1, 2023.

The Agency’s governing Council unanimously adopted a three-year strategic plan to guide Mass Cultural Council through the next 36 months during its business meeting on March 22.

While the new strategic plan does not go into effect until Fiscal Year 2024 (which begins on July 1), it does provide the staff and leadership team with direction and a framework which will be helpful as we think about programming and begin to build our FY24 spending plan.

The Strategic Planning Process

Late last summer Mass Cultural Council engaged the services of a local, women-led consulting firm, Strategy Matters, to guide us through the development of a new strategic plan. We launched this process in mid-September as the Council Chair and Executive Director appointed Council and staff members to serve on a Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF). As a first step, the SPTF indicated a desire for an open and transparent planning process so that stakeholders are informed, empowered, and able to better see their role in the larger strategic plan.

With this as a guide, the Agency’s Senior Leadership Team and consulting team worked throughout to ensure all those associated in the planning process – both internal and external – were able to provide their expertise, insight, and unique perspective to build a cohesive and inclusive strategic plan. Staff and Council members were engaged at many points in the process to provide input and feedback on draft deliverables, learn about planning updates, and ask general process questions. Throughout the process, all internal stakeholders were asked to review and provide feedback for the Senior Leadership Team to consider while drafting deliverables.

Further informing these deliverables was the engagement of 950+ internal and external stakeholders via survey, 30+ focus group participants, 28 one-to-one interviews, and additional sector and environmental research. All the information gleaned from these engagements and research resulted in the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis utilized to guide decision making in developing Mass Cultural Council’s strategy, mission, and agency-wide goals.

Values, Vision, and Mission

This months-long process and work of our governing Council, staff, the SPTF, and input from external stakeholders led to the development of new Values, Vision, and Mission statements that serve as the foundation for Mass Cultural Council’s new strategic plan:

Values — The statement of what is most important to us. They help determine how we do – and do not – pursue our work.

  • Creativity: Mass Cultural Council believes that creativity is the key to solving many of society’s concerns and advancing this asset helps to make the Commonwealth a preeminent place in the nation for it to thrive.


  • Public Service: Mass Cultural Council serves the Commonwealth and all who live, work, visit, and play here by amplifying creativity, providing resources, expanding relationships, and championing transformational changes that maintain and grow a thriving creative and cultural ecosystem.


  • Inclusion: Mass Cultural Council works to build a diverse and equitable creative and cultural sector in the Commonwealth, ensuring that all who practice and participate in creative and cultural expression see themselves in it.


Vision — The more perfect world we hope to create. A world where our values are more deeply and widely embraced.

Mass Cultural Council envisions a diverse creative and cultural sector that is valued as essential in the Commonwealth.


Mission — The role that we play in building the more perfect world we describe in our vision.

The Mass Cultural Council advances the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector by celebrating traditions and talents, championing its collective needs, and equitably investing public resources.

What’s Next?

More details of what programs and services the Agency will rework and/or offer to the creative and cultural sector will become available in early FY24. Mass Cultural Council is grateful to everyone who engaged with us in this process – your thoughts and suggestions helped inform our decisions. We look forward to continued conversations with the creative and culture stakeholders and partners as we embark on advancing the goals of this new strategic plan.

Details of our annual spending plan are typically available in August, after Mass Cultural Council has received its state budget appropriation and our governing Council has met and voted to approve the staff’s spending proposal. Should that schedule hold true this year, we anticipate FY24 programs and services to be approved and ready to launch shortly after Labor Day.

Mass Cultural Council’s current strategic plan is available online.

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