ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rockford has launched its first ever “Cultural Plan.”

It is meant to provide a road map for how arts, culture and the creative economy can celebrate the uniqueness of the “Forest City.”

The Rock Area Arts Council (RAAC) kicked off the year-long process Wednesday evening. The plan will feature an overall vision for arts and culture in the city, as well as help create a strategy to increase community engagement.

Those behind the effort said that the arts can play a critical role in the area.

“It’s so important, because having vibrant and having inclusive, in terms of different areas of the city, improves everyone’s lives and it improves the economics within the city and the business sector. And, also, just elevating the artists,” said Rhiannon Yandell, director of operations for the RAAC. “We have a really rich artist community in Rockford.”

The full “Cultural Plan” should come out sometime in 2024.