Social and Cultural Vibrancy Working Group Discussion + Mindmap Video

Social and Cultural Vibrancy Working Group
Carnegie Stout Library Auditorium
February 21st, 2017 | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The ‘Social and Cultural Vibrancy Working Group’ took place on February 21st at Carnegie Stout Library.  The purpose of the working group was to identify and prioritize issues, and get input to help guide the upcoming Social and Cultural Vibrancy Workshop to be held on April 19th at The Smokestack.

Bob Barber, project consultant with Orion Planning + Design, led and facilitated group discussion while Mike Hoffman, with Teska Associates, took notes of the specific ideas and Erin Cigliano, with Teska Associates, graphically depicted the ideas via a MindMap on a large 15-foot white board (see video below).

Social + Cultural Vibrancy MindMap

What is a MindMap? A mindmap is a graphical representation of ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structure information, helping to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.

*** Click here to RSVP for the Social + Cultural Vibrancy Workshop | April 19th @ The Smokestack ***


“Filled with energy or activity: the vibrant streets of a big city. Vigorous, lively, and vital: “a vibrant group that challenged the … system” (Free Dictionary)

Current Dubuque planning identifies the following as contributors to social and cultural vibrancy: Cultural Arts, Diversity, Education, Health, Housing, Human Services, Recreation, and Public Safety. What does Social and Cultural Vibrancy mean in the context of these community factors? 

  • Being open, inclusive, tolerant
  • Engaging the community at all levels
  • Providing opportunity to engage
  • Events that address all segments of Dubuque’s culture
  • Celebrating the beautify of life and access to those celebrations
  • There is cultural abundance in Dubuque but there are geographical barriers to overcome/ the DT bluff divide is a big one



How is Dubuque doing in the realm of Social and Cultural Vibrancy?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, an 8 or a 9
  • Is growing, improving. There is a lot going on, but people don’t know it
  • Dubuque could be competitive with larger markets like Madison
  • Dubuque has increased success in cultural activity through private investment in the arts and through its partnerships but public investment has not increased
  • Dubuque needs an overall organizing principle
  • Walkability is key to cultivating a sense of vibrancy
  • Quality and insightful social services contributes
  • We need to encourage all forms of cultural expression
  • Example, Marshallese cannot afford meeting space to have their birthday parties
  • Communication is inadequate to poor and minorities
  • Need to overcome “That’s the way it has always been done” mentality
  • “Still missing a sense of welcome”


What experiences could be created or reinforced that would express a common celebration of diversity?

  • Taste of Dubuque appeals to all cultures and socio-economic groups
  • Multi-cultural center could be better utilized
  • Example – Farmers Market has worked hard to include lower income groups through access and affordability. Been very difficult to determine exactly what the barriers are
  • There are the factors of mobility, relatability, education levels, fear, distorted view of what culture means
  • Need to increase partnerships
  • Increase art of access in Dubuque
  • Arts camp for a week
  • Neighborhood Concerts
  • Initiate a Cultural Endowment Fund
  • Continue to advocate for more public investment
  • Create a walkable event the entire length of downtown
  • We need a signature event
  • Key to attracting diverse groups is getting kids involved
  • Barriers to common celebration of diversity include topography (the bluff), transportation (hours and cost), cost of event, distorted view of culture (for example, incorrect perception that whites are not welcome at a Juneteenth celebration)
  • Recommended video “What happens when you don’t put people in boxes” from Denmark


For cultural “producers” are there key neighborhoods or amenities now present? Any needed?

  • Millwork District
  • Washington neighborhood
  • Most artists have day jobs – bi -vocational
  • People seem unwilling to pay and seem entitled
  • Arts funding in schools is decreasing, this is a nationwide problem
  • Lack of gathering space on the west side


Community Workshop Idea Scoping

  • Reach to all groups
  • Create table of interests and have people find table to encourage cross cultural dialog
  • Have a variety of cultural foods
  • Music or art display or some uniqueness to atmosphere


Join Us!

Imagine Dubuque Social + Cultural Vibrancy Workshop

  • Wednesday, April 19th
  • The Smokestack | 62 East 7th Street
  • 6pm | Light refreshments provided