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Performing Arts Centre At Western Springs

15 November 2000


Council Supports Proposal For Performing Arts Centre At Western Springs


Auckland City is putting its considerable weight behind the performing arts with its approval of a Performing Arts Centre at Western Springs

Auckland City Council's City Attractions Committee is to recommend that Council make provision for $750,000 in next year's budget to fund the community based, professionally resourced centre at Western Springs.

The Committee declined a funding request of $1 million from Epsom Girls Grammar for a Creative Arts Centre to be built at the school but recommended that Council contribute $100,000 to that project.

The Performing Arts School and Western Springs College partnership will form an important part of performing arts development in Auckland by providing recreational, learning and performance opportunities.

Councillor Victoria Carter, Chairperson of the Committee says there is lack of rehearsal space and spaces to create artistic works in the City.

"The provision of such an exciting venue as that proposed at Western Springs will provide work opportunities for arts professionals and help create an interest and appreciation of the performing arts, which will ultimately build audiences," she said.

Councillor Victoria Carter said that where this proposal stood out above other requests for arts centre funding was the fact that one of the partners, the Performing Arts School, was a direct provider of arts activities.

"Auckland City recently commissioned AUT to do a study on Community Performing Arts. It strongly indicated that any facility being considered should focus on the needs of the arts community and not be based where the over-riding needs of schools and other community groups would take precedence," said Councillor Victoria Carter, Chair of the Committee.



Councillor Carter says the Performing Arts School would have a presence fulltime on the site and would be responsive to the needs of the performing arts community rather than being merely a 'hall for hire' as is often the case with school based facilities.

However, she also acknowledged the value of the Epsom Girls proposal.

"There is no doubt that the Epsom Girls proposal is highly worthwhile. It will serve an area of the market and do us all proud. The problem is we don’t have enough money and it is a sad reflection on Central Government under-funding of schools, where the excellent creative work that is so important at our schools doesn't get recognised," she said.

The Committee also recommended funding for a $200,000 upgrade of the Mt. Eden Swimming Club building. Councillors spoke of their experiences at this long established private facility, some going back for more years than they cared to remember.

Councillor Carter said a large number of people had travelled considerable distances across town to use the pool, as she had done when teaching her very young children to swim.
ENDS
For further information, please contact Councillor Victoria Carter:
Tel: 09) 529 1121 or 025) 377 018

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

A meeting of the City Attractions Committee, the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Community Development Committee considered six requests for funding in respect of Auckland City Council's Facility Partnership Policy for 2001/2002, and any future years.

Seventeen Councillors including her Worship the Mayor were present at the joint meeting.

The recommendations from this meeting went forward to the City Attractions Committee and were approved by that Committee.

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