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Creative Wairarapa

MEDIA RELEASE - for immediate release

The prospect of the arts becoming a major player in the Wairarapa region's economic life has come a step closer.

Arts and cultural body, Creative Wairarapa, has received a draft of a report commissioned from consultants Arts Access Aotearoa on an Arts and Cultural Cluster Strategy for the Wairarapa.

The draft report was received at a presentation in Masterton last week. Convener of Creative Wairarapa, Masterton Mayor Bob Francis says the report is now being edited and he expects it to be launched at a public meeting in late June.

"The Arts Access Aotearoa report makes nineteen specific recommendations, some of which challenge traditional thinking about the arts and culture in this region," Bob Francis says.

"Many in the arts and cultural community have in the past seen getting more money and grants funding as a solution to their problems. But the kind of strategic planning the report urges will see better organisation, co-operation between key players, and generation of income for arts and culture through marketing and selling professionally presented art, crafts, cultural events and festivals."

"Creative Wairarapa is now developing the mechanism for setting up an arts marketing organisation recommended by the report. This will start to build the marketing, advocacy and cultural tourism infrastructure the report advocates and employ staff to co-ordinate the work," Bob Francis says.

The Creative Wairarapa steering group was formed as an informal action group following the April 2000 Heart of the Nation meeting involving the region's arts community. Over the past year it has worked to develop the brief for a major study into the significance and needs of the region's arts sector and commissioned consultants to undertake the study and consult widely with key players in the arts. The initiative has been supported by the three Wairarapa District Councils, community arts councils, and Wairarapa funding agencies.

ENDS

Further Information:

Gillian Mangin - , Creative Wairarapa. (06)378 9666

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