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Support for Dowse Art Museum redevelopment

23 May 2005 Media Statement

Support for Dowse Art Museum redevelopment

The redevelopment of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt is being supported with a $1.969 million government grant, the Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Helen Clark announced today.

"The Dowse project involves the development of a purpose-built facility to house its nationally significant collection of decorative arts and design," said Helen Clark.

"The Dowse holds a comprehensive collection of works by New Zealand's leading twentieth and twenty-first century decorative artists, in the fields of ceramics, glass, wood, painting, drawings, photography, sculpture, jewellery and fibre.

"The development will extend and upgrade existing facilities and is a collaborative project, with funding from central government, local government, and the Dowse Foundation, through the Foundation's community fundraising.

"Exhibition spaces will be considerably improved, by an extension of approximately 60 per cent, and the development will allow for more flexible use of space, with a theatre, outdoor courtyard, function spaces, and expanded cafe," Helen Clark said.

The total project cost is $5.906 million. The $1.969 million commitment from central government is being matched by $1.969 million from local government, and the Dowse Foundation is raising the balance. (All figures are GST inclusive.)

NOTE: The key criterion for funding in the Regional Museum Policy is that an institution must hold a collection of national significance, before its application for funding can be considered by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It is also based on the premise that there should be a balance between national and local responsibilities, with local authorities and fundraising expected to contribute significantly to the cost of projects, to demonstrate community support.

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