Community to help define and build strong creative sector on the Coast
  • Thursday 04 September 2008

Work on a new regional Cultural Plan to help build a strong creative sector on the Sunshine Coast will kick off with a public forum next Thursday at the Caloundra Regional Gallery.

The forum, Investing in Creativity, is aimed at starting a program of cultural mapping which will provide the analysis and background for the first regional creative, heritage and arts strategies.

Sunshine Coast Council Regional Director Community Services, Lisbet Dean, said the forum was a great way to spark thinking about the direction needed to engage the arts community on the road towards a Regional Cultural Plan.

“The forum will set the tone for the analysis needed to lead the development of our creative and heritage arts strategies. These strategies will then provide the framework for the future delivery of services and facilities in these areas, on the Coast,” Ms Dean said.

“While work will start at the forum, the cultural mapping analysis program will take place over the next few months.

“And artists, creative and heritage arts practitioners, businesses and organisations across the region will all be invited to have input to the analysis.”

Community Policy and Programs portfolio holder, Councillor Jenny McKay, said the objective of the analysis was to assess the future needs of Sunshine Coast artists and arts in terms of creative and business development, and comparing that to the current provision of facilities and spaces in the region.

“It will consider the role of the creative and heritage arts of the Sunshine Coast in terms of the broader future economic and social development of the region including existing and planned community cultural facility provision, cultural tourism and creative industries initiatives.”

The forum’s key note speaker will be Cathy Hunt, who has worked extensively on cultural policy development, local government cultural planning, cultural facility development and organisational and business planning for arts organisations.

Cathy has managed art centres, touring performing companies and festivals and was a Founding Director of the UK Liverpool Festival of Comedy and the Artistic Programmer of Battersea Arts Centre, London.

Cathy’s paper will discuss how to build a strong creative sector on the coast, the challenges and opportunities.

A panel of local professionals will respond to the paper including Dr Lisa Chandler, University of the Sunshine Coast; Christine Ballinger, Noosa Regional Gallery; Ken Munsie, Collaboration of Maleny Artists; and Adam Lewczuk, Nowhere Art Group.

The public forum, which will include audience participation and discussion, is free and will be held on Thursday 11 September at the Caloundra Regional Gallery, 22 Omrah Ave, from 5.30pm to 6pm.

To book your place, contact the Gallery on 5420 8299