A new era for the development and promotion of Moira’s vibrant arts sector has begun with Moira Shire Council endorsing its first ever Arts and Culture Strategy 2020-2026.
Mayor Libro Mustica said the five-year strategy would provide a blueprint for council in delivering financial and other meaningful support to foster opportunities, activities and events that meet the needs of and forge connections between Moira’s artistic and broader communities.
“The strategy will harness the exciting breadth and depth of Moira’s existing arts and culture activities, knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm,” Cr Mustica said.
“Simple actions such as conducting an audit of venues that can support events and exhibitions through to developing mentoring programs that involve our many creative arts practitioners are examples of how we intend to build on our existing strengths.
“Community arts and cultural activities are the unsung heroes of our community’s health, wellbeing, quality of life and, increasingly, our tourism.
“They are about inclusion, respect and celebration - from our First National People’s culture and identity, through to welcoming newer arrivals from around the globe.”
One of the first changes to emerge from the strategy will be a call for expressions of interest to establish up to four creative hubs to build creative expertise in Yarrawonga Cobram, Nathalia and Numurkah. “The expression of interest process will commence in the new year and we look forward to providing further details at that time,” Cr Mustica said.
“It is an exciting way for the community to define the delivery of arts within their local communities and enable the hubs to in place when the Strategy commences in July 2020.”
Cr Mustica said the strategy had been provided for community review and had received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
“The vast majority of the feedback wasn’t about the strategy – it leapt to the next stage to make recommendations on its implementation,” he said.
“This energy and enthusiasm is exactly what we hoped to see and will need to ensure the strategy delivers for our community.
“The creative hubs model will also see a change in council’s arts and culture funding across the shire. “We needed to address two key concerns identified by our arts community.
“Firstly, we want to be able to provide multi-year funding that allows the hubs to plan over a longer horizon.
“Secondly, we want to ensure equitable funding across the shire that is supplemented by joint efforts to secure external funding from government, philanthropic and other sources.”
The Arts and Culture Strategy will be available from council’s website.