RECOGNISING the importance of culture - from festivals to public art - Upper Hunter Shire Council has released a draft ten-year plan for public feedback.
The draft Cultural Plan 2017-2027 outlines priorities for council’s investment in the arts and cultural sector over the next decade.
The priorities, identified through community consultation, include enhancing connections between council and community organisations, arts practitioners and cultural workers, facilitating university art student placements in the shire, increasing arts opportunities for young people, supporting Indigenous arts and cultural projects, public art projects, developing arts related infrastructure and continuing support for festivals and events.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said a vibrant arts culture had both lifestyle and economic benefits.
“The Upper Hunter is rich in visual arts and crafts, performance arts and heritage resources, and this is a great attraction for ‘tree changers’,” he said.
“Culture is found in galleries, museums, libraries, markets, shops, schools and public spaces, seen in performances, and through our festivals and other events.
“It preserves and celebrates our heritage and inspires us in a creative future.
“The Upper Hunter’s culture reflects our unique and diverse natural environment, rich Indigenous heritage, and pastoral and agricultural history.”
Council directly supports cultural development by supporting numerous local events, festivals and groups such as the Upper Hunter Museum Network; financially supporting rural halls and venues; providing Cultural Activity Grants and assisting groups apply for other grants; supporting the Kia Ora Music Camp; NAIDOC Week activities; and hosting events such as Music Beat for Youth, Welding for Women and Play in a Day.
Written feedback on the draft Cultural Plan is invited until June 12.
The document can be downloaded on the website http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/do-it-online/say-it/notice-of-public-exhibition-draft-cultural-plan-2017-27.aspx or viewed at council offices in Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone.