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Old Caretaker’s Cottage for Rotorua Children’s Art House

News Release

Old Caretaker’s Cottage for Rotorua Children’s Art House

8 August, 2014

A council and community partnership to develop a dedicated Children’s Art House for Rotorua has moved a step closer.

Rotorua District Council has agreed in principle to make available the old Caretaker’s Cottage in Government Gardens as a permanent home for the programme.

Council Creative Communities portfolio lead, Councillor Glenys Searancke, said a Children’s Art House Trust was currently being finalised and a list of potential trustees was being drawn up for consideration.

Mrs Searancke said there had also been encouraging discussions with potential funders for the programme and she was hopeful establishment funding would become available once budgets had been prepared and ongoing funding options identified.

“Council’s decision is still subject to a number of consents and approvals which will be needed, including that of the Historic Places Trust and consultation with Ngati Whakaue. However I’m hopeful we can successfully work through any issues that might arise.

“I’m personally very excited about the possibility of providing a permanent home for our district’s children to explore their creativity within a safe and supported community-valued programme, and in a venue that allows their artistic talents to be unleashed.

“The historic Caretaker’s Cottage is a perfect fit with the Children’s Art House objectives and will allow our young people to work, play and exhibit their art in a dedicated, accessible central location. It will also add another dimension to the Government Gardens cultural precinct, complementing facilities already in place such as Rotorua Museum and the Arts Village.

Mrs Searancke said development of a Creative Communities Strategy was a key part of the Rotorua 2030 vision developed in partnership with the community, and the Children’s Art House would be an important component in that strategy.

Introduction of the Children’s Art House concept to Rotorua follows an invitation extended by Mayor Steve Chadwick to Shona Hammond Boyes to visit Rotorua. Ms Hammond Boys is national director of the New Zealand Children’s Art House Foundation Trust,.

In May this year Ms Hammond Boys met with council personnel and addressed a public meeting of Rotorua residents and community groups interested in exploring the setting up of an art house for children.

“What would you think about a club where the only rules are to love art and to be kind to each other? Where everyone must follow these rules, including teachers and parents? These are the rules of the New Zealand Children's Art Houses,” Ms Hammond Boys said.

Mrs Searancke said the council would ensure that the integrity of the old Caretaker’s Cottage was protected and any work needed to meet planning and building requirements would be undertaken in a way that was sensitive to the historic nature of the building.

The cottage is currently rented out as a private residence.

ENDS

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