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Creative Coromandel arts strategy in progress

12 June 2015

A recent decision by Council to contribute $12,000 towards the development of an Arts Strategy is the first step in formalising a relationship between our Council and the Coromandel's arts community.

The Coromandel has always been known for its talented artists and arts events and after a highly successful Arts Workshop held in Thames in March a submission was made to our Draft Long Term Plan to help fund the development of an Arts Strategy.

"The development of the arts strategy will be a collaborative approach, with both Council and the arts sector contributing," says TCDC's Chief Executive David Hammond. "We are really excited, it's been a long time coming for a district as creative as ours and we look forward to what the future will bring."

Matarangi-based arts consultant Hilary Falconer has been contracted to research and draw up a draft strategy. Ms Falconer was previously the CEO of regional arts development trust Arts Waikato and had been involved in supporting many arts groups around the Coromandel. She will now be meeting with arts organisations, groups and representatives from across the District to help formulate the strategy.

“The arts community in the Coromandel knows it can develop more sustainably if there is a shared vision and potential for collaborative projects. They appreciate the support they are given by Council but are excited by the potential for growth that a strategic approach will give. They are also aware of the value of their work in terms of the economic development of the region as a whole," she says.

The Strategy will include all forms of art, music, theatre, public art and digital arts and will have linked action plans which will be developed by each ward. One of the aims of the project is to involve the whole community, not just those already in the arts sector.

“We want this to be a useful, working strategy with significant outcomes – some will be District-wide but each ward has its own flavour and particular needs so the action plans can be relevant to each community," says Ms Falconer.

"I was very pleased to see the Council sign off on a district wide Arts Strategy," says Councillor Diane Connors who is Council's representative for the development of a Strategy.

"Much like our Youth Strategy and the Disability Strategy, an Arts Strategy will demonstrate the value that we place on the arts in our regions, both socially and economically. As the elected representative championing is project I will ensure that we have something substantial at the end of it - including action plans that identify practical next steps at district and local levels.  It's not about Council opening up it's purse-strings to a heap of expensive art projects.  It's about Council, communities and the arts sector working collaboratively towards our goals," says Ms Connors.

To keep up to date with our progress on the Arts Strategy, have a look at our Arts Strategy project page.


Hilary Falconer