By Seth Kinker,

The Dexter City Council received a draft of an update to the master plan of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage (ACH) committee at their May 28 city council meeting.

The ACH began looking at their master plan in November of 2018 after discussing proposed projects and action items to update the plan. The ACH committee approved two specific recommendations at their May 7 meeting.

The first change was to remove numbering from the project descriptions list so they can be organized categorically as opposed to in order of priority.


The second was to include Slams and S’mores and Moth storytelling projects, indicating the ACH committee’s desire to do these projects in this fiscal year. Slams and S’mores was an event the ACH hosted when it first started, with storytelling in the park with s’mores. Moth storytelling is a new recommended project/event.

According to Justin Breyer, the assistant to the city manager, also the staff liaison to the ACH, it would be more indoor storytelling based on a common theme.

“The most significant updates to the plan were an expansion of the Accomplishments section; the Project Rating Table; and the Project Descriptions section,” said a memo addressed to city council from city staff. “The ‘Average Rating’ column of the Project Rating Table reflects the average value assigned to each project based on each committee members’ opinion of the importance or criticality of the committee pursuing that project.”

Council will send the master plan back to the ACH one more time before officially approving and adopting the plan at a TBD council meeting but city manager Courtney Nichols said she didn’t expect any other big changes.

In other ACH news, during the June 4 meeting, the group continued to discuss this year’s Pain Dexter Plein Air Festival while also making a decision on a photographer for local photos for city purposes at their Jun. 4 meeting.

First, the ACH made a decision on the request for proposal (RFP) for photography services. Dexter has been looking for a professional photography service to gather photos of the community over the next year. These photos will then be used in marketing items for the city as well as used to update the city website.

With bids due at the end of May, the ACH looked over the recommendations and chose a candidate to recommend to city council.

“The ACH recommended to City council the approval of a proposal by Jen Prouty Photography,” said Breyer. “City council will see that item this coming Monday, June 10th.

Next, they discussed the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival. It will be entering its seventh year when it takes place Aug. 12 – 17 as the event invites artists to Dexter to render their interpretation of Dexter scenery and the surrounding area via their talents with the paintings being sold at the end of the week.

Breyer told The Sun Times participating artists will be announced shortly.

One decision that the ACH made was to choose the theme of the Saturday children’s event as “Fish Printing,” with Breyer saying there were more details to come. Another decision made at the Jun. 4 meeting was to partner with the Webster Historical Society and hold the adult workshop on their grounds.

The ACH is still looking for sponsors and volunteers for the festival.


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