City to focus on arts and culture

April 1, 2021 BY

THE community is invited to give its feedback on a new city-drawn framework set to strengthen Greater Geelong’s arts and culture scene.

Council’s Arts and Cultural Strategy draft aims to rebuild the industry following the pandemic while creating a more sustainable investment into the region.

With more than 1,000 community members and stakeholders taking part in the drafting stage the strategy is reflective of the community’s priorities for the sector, as well as aspirations that will be implemented into a four-year action plan.

During targeted engagement activities the city’s focus was drawn to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative and cultural activity, inclusive culture and accessible venues, as well as studios and rehearsal spaces.

Deputy mayor and chair of the Creative Communities and Culture portfolio, Trent Sullivan, said the final strategy following community engagement will play a vital role in Geelong’s social and economic recovery.

“We have a fantastic arts and culture scene, but there are so many more stories that can be shared, including those from Indigenous and LGBTIQA+ community members,” he said.

Under the draft the city has committed to making arts and culture an integral part of Geelong’s identity through engaging the whole community in the cultural life of Greater Geelong and building rewarding partnerships with other organisations and within the council.

The commitment comes as creative communities across Greater Geelong have significantly grown over the past five years with the introduction of more than 5,000 sole traders operating in the sector.

A further 670 arts and cultural places and assets have been identified as well as 12,000 heritage objects, artefacts and artworks under the city’s care estimated to be worth up to $28 million.

Mayor Stephanie Asher said the Arts and Culture Strategy will be key to unlocking the community’s ‘clever and creative’ vision.

“This is an exciting opportunity to amplify more voices and harness the strengths of our creative industries as we rebuild our economy from COVID-19,” she said.

“The draft strategy will build on the arts, culture and heritage recovery initiatives, worth an estimated $665,000, announced by the council last year.”

The draft Arts and Cultural Strategy is currently available for feedback at yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au.

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