Master Plan

culture. connections. community.


The Arts + Culture Alliance, in partnership with the City of Marshalltown, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce, and many others, is thrilled to announce the Arts and Culture Master Plan is complete. After an extensive process, led by a 13-member steering committee, we are thrilled to share this ambitious and aspirational ten-year plan. In February of 2023, the plan was formally adopted by the City of Marshalltown and we are excited to hit the ground running on creative community development.

​The Arts and Culture Master Plan aligns with and contributes to the influential plans and organizations already guiding Marshalltown. Plans such as the Downtown Master Plan, Highway 14 Corridor, Trails, Parks & Rec, etc., name beautification and public art as priorities and strong recommendations. The Arts and Culture Master Plan is the implementation strategy for how we realize those priorities and recommendations through a creative approach on the development efforts across our community. When an arts and culture master plan is adopted and integrated into a city’s comprehensive plan, amazing things happen. Art and culture can connect and renew Marshalltown, positioning us for collaboration and revitalization.

The master plan was shaped by the diverse voices and distinctive perspectives of Marshalltown residents. To ensure the plan reflected the richness of the Marshalltown community, consultants conducted 14 interviews, seven focus groups (including those involving artists, the Latino and Burmese community, and more), and an online survey (offered in 21 languages) completed by 655 people.​

Cities that weave arts and culture into the fabric of daily life become a destination for visitors. They drive economic prosperity. They become regional focal points. But most importantly, they bloom into a springboard of imagination and a creative home for their own residents. Conversations spark, connections are made and our community thrives.

The creative community is who we are, how we work and play, and what we love. The Arts and Culture Master Plan has five placemaking themes, derived from our conversations and feedback with the community. The placemaking themes include: Revitalize Over Restore, Build Bridges, Activate Hope, Elevate Youth and Heritage of Innovation. Throughout the plan, potential partners have been identified. These are organizations and institutions with natural connections to the cultural priorities outlined in the document. Where might you, your business or organization fit in? Because making a vibrant and welcoming Marshalltown, alive with arts and authentic cultural opportunities, will take all of us.

We Invite You to Look Forward With Us.

This future is hopeful and it’s attainable. It is an invitation to imagine, to build, and to create community together. A community that dreams together grows together. All of us are the creative community.

TakepART with us!

Master Plan Table of Contents

Take pART with us

A community that dreams together grows together.
All of us are the creative community.

Planning Steering Committee

  • John Hall, Co-Chair
    Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Board Member
  • Deb Borton, Co-Chair
    Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation and Alliance Board Member
  • Mike Tupper
    Marshalltown Police Chief and Alliance Board Member
  • Kim Hanken
    Local artist and Marshalltown Public Art Committee Member
  • Wendy Soltero
    Bowman & Miller and Alliance Experience Committee Member
  • Gabe Isom
    Marshalltown City Council, 2nd Ward and Emerson​
  • Neil Dalal
    Emerson and Alliance Board Member
  • Michelle Spohnheimer
    City of Marshalltown
  • Jesus Rios
    Emerson and Alliance Board Member
  • Plu Meh
    Child Abuse and Prevention Services
  • Esmeralda Armas
    City of Marshalltown
  • Julie Thede
    Marshalltown Community School District
  • Aaron Buzbee
    Local Entrepreneur

Thank you to the City of Marshalltown and Marshalltown Company ​for making this planning effort a possibility. The planning committee also wishes to credit Group Creatives for their assistance in the development of the Master Plan.


Thank you to the sponsors of this planning effort.