Resolution No. 129

Establishing A Policy To Maximize Resources For And Benefits Of Arts And Culture In Ulster County By Initiating Assessment And Developing An Arts And Culture Master Plan

Resolution Information




Referred to: The Economic Development, Planning, Education, Employment, Arts and Agriculture Committee (Chairman Cahill and Legislators Corcoran, Criswell, Hewitt, Litts, Maloney and Sperry), and The Ways and Means Committee (Chairman Gavaris and Legislators Cahill, Roberts, Ronk, and Walter)


Legislator Peter Criswell and Legislators Bartels and Heppner offer the following:


WHEREAS, Ulster County is the center for arts and culture in the Hudson Valley; and


WHEREAS, the arts have long played a key role as a direct and indirect contributor to Ulster County’s economy, as the caliber of music, theater, dance and visual arts programs are among the finest in the Mid-Hudson Valley and draw audiences from all over the region; and


WHEREAS, the arts organizations throughout Ulster County attract locals and visitors alike who spend money in restaurants and hotels; and


WHEREAS, a decade old study conducted in 2014 by the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at the State University of New York at New Paltz found that the total economic impact of Ulster County’s arts and culture in 2011 was $23.5 million, with direct expenditures of $15 million by arts and culture organizations generating indirect spending of $8.5 million that created jobs in other sectors; and


WHEREAS, said study found that Ulster County arts and culture organizations attracted 1.4 million visitors to the region for events, which in turn injected $161 million directly into Ulster’s economy; and


WHEREAS, as stated in the Ulster 2040 Working Group Final Report issued in September of 2020, artists, artisans and arts organizations have continued to bring new vitality to buildings, neighborhoods and even crafts that were previously on the decline, leading the way for new business opportunities and investment; and


WHEREAS, said report recommended providing artists, makers and creators business support services such as financing, site assistance, advisory services, marketing and workforce development; and


WHEREAS, the various arts organizations throughout Ulster County currently provide many opportunities for employment, with the sector generating over 1,600 jobs in Kingston alone; and




WHEREAS, the arts has potential to be a key employment generator for Ulster County, and it is now imperative to commit to protect and strengthen this sector by cultivating and developing this collective workforce; and 


WHEREAS, in addition to positive economic and employment impacts, the American Public Health Association has concluded there are clear indications that artistic engagement has significantly positive effects on health; and


WHEREAS, numerous studies have long documented the strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on academic and social development, encourage creative thinking, and simply viewing art has shown to increase empathy, tolerance, and feelings of love; and


WHEREAS, supporting the arts and protecting our cultural assets expands on the concept of community, enhances community development, and brings cohesiveness to a sector that touches every municipality in Ulster County; and


WHEREAS, integrating the many arts organizations throughout Ulster County has tremendous potential to not only strengthen support within the sector, but offer enhanced value to tourists and locals, and offer potential new offerings and connections within and through various departments of Ulster County government such as Tourism, Economic Development, Health, Mental Health and the Office of Employment and Training; and   


WHEREAS, the Ulster County Legislature finds that development of an arts and Culture Master Plan will build on the foundation of this area’s history and vibrant, diverse cultural community, and will provide actionable strategies for strengthening the arts, artists, and economy in the area and make Ulster County a renowned destination for arts and culture; and


WHEREAS, pursuant to § C-74 B. (4) of the Ulster County Charter, the Ulster County Purchasing Director shall perform such other and related duties as shall be required and delegated by the County Executive or County Legislature; now, therefore, be it


RESOLVED, it is hereby the policy of Ulster County to maximize resources for and benefits of arts and culture in Ulster County by initiating assessment and developing an Arts And Culture Mater Plan; and, be it further




RESOLVED, that the Director of Purchasing shall within sixty (60) days of adoption of this Resolution, issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) on behalf of Ulster County to seek a vendor who shall develop a comprehensive Arts and Culture Master Plan to maximize the County’s assets, identify gaps and new opportunities, and bring community stakeholders and leaders together to create a shared vision for future growth; and, be it further 


RESOLVED, that prior to the RFP document being public, the Chair of the Legislature, or designee, shall have opportunity to provide input on the document; and, be it further


RESOLVED, the Chair of the Legislature, or designee shall serve as a member of the RFP evaluation committee; and, be it further  


RESOLVED, that no section of this resolution shall be interpreted as augmenting the existing legislative process for expenditures; and, be it further


RESOLVED, upon conclusion of the RFP process, a contract for execution shall be presented to the Ulster County Legislature within 60 days for consideration pursuant to § A2-5 (15) of the Ulster County Charter,


and move its adoption.





AYES:                       NOES:    



Passed Committee: Economic Development, Planning, Education, Employment, Arts and Agriculture on ______________.


Passed Committee: Ways and Means on ______________.   





Current Text: PDF



Updated: June 13, 2023