What We Do: Arts and Culture

In the video above, MAPC’s brand-new Arts & Culture Manager, Jenn Erickson, discusses arts and cultural planning at MAPC.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has a new service area! Last week, Executive Director Marc Draisen announced a new division within MAPC: Arts & Culture.

Arts and culture was already a growth area at MAPC. Recent and current projects include creating an Arts and Planning Toolkit (which won the 2016 American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter Outstanding Planning Project Award), producing a cultural plan for the Town of Arlington, and working with the Town of Wakefield and Albion Cultural Exchange to create an economic development plan focused on the arts and highlighting the work of local artists.

The new division will focus on improving and implementing the Arts & Culture Toolkit, training MAPC and municipal planners in arts and culture planning, and undertaking projects to advance arts and culture throughout the towns in MAPC’s eight subregions.

Jenn Erickson, the former manager of MAPC’s Technical Assistance Program and the staff member who spearheaded the creation of the Arts & Planning Toolkit, will lead the new division. In the coming weeks, she’ll be joined by two new staff members – Annis Whitlow Sengupta and Carolyn Lewenberg. Sengupta will focus on promoting arts through planning as Arts & Culture Planner and Lewenberg, a public artist and sculptor, will be MAPC’s first artist-in-residence.

“I view this as an important and exciting new endeavor for MAPC,” wrote Draisen in an email announcing the new division. “But like all work at MAPC, we are undertaking it to advance critical goals in MetroFuture – to make all of our communities more prosperous and livable, to conduct creative place-making in our neighborhoods and town centers, and to make the region more equitable.”

Stay tuned to learn more about our new staff members and future arts and planning initiatives at MAPC! To learn more about the division’s services, please visit