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Delivering On The City’s Arts Agenda

21 May 2001

Auckland City’s staff and community arts co-ordinators have developed a programme to help with requests for assistance from the arts community.

Council officers and the two co-ordinators have identified four areas – assistance, advisory, projects and networking – as the keys to delivering a more effective working plan for the city’s Arts Agenda.

The arts co-ordinators were employed in September to help deliver on the Arts Agenda. The initial focus of their work was to identify the community within which they would be working, as well as gaps and opportunities which could help develop an effective working plan.

After a series of external meetings and workshops, they visited groups within the Council to determine how best to cater for the needs of arts groups and individuals who seek council help with various projects.

The chairperson of the Community Development Committee, Councillor Penny Sefuiva, says the research has been well worthwhile and targets the areas where the Council – through the arts co-ordinators – could best deliver a service to the arts community.

“The appointment of the co-ordinators means the Council now has a ‘one-stop-shop’ for arts enquiries,” says Councillor Sefuiva.

“Advice and assistance may range from short, one-off enquiries to more sustained contact which assists a project or organisation develop a more viable direction or base.”

Councillor Sefuiva says that from a public perspective, one of the first visible signs of the co-ordinators’ work is the tiling project in Glen Innes.

The Mana Youth Group, working with local artist Te Aroha Witika, has successfully constructed a tiled public seating area in the Glen Innes shopping centre for the public to enjoy.

Councillor Sefuiva says the committee has since endorsed the start of community-based arts initiatives across the city.

This will involve a locally-based artist working with youth to develop a concept and medium to be used and a site appropriate to the local environment.

A number of positive outcomes are anticipated from these projects, including the strengthening of local relationships and co-operation, increasing pride in their community and networking opportunities, greater acknowledgment of youth, a celebration of local culture and identity and a fostering of young people’s confidence and self-worth.

“We now have a structured programme which the co-ordinators can work to. This will enable the community and the committee to provide comment and, where appropriate, support and promotion of the co-ordinators’ activities.”

ENDS

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