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Arts Development Trust To Be Formed

At a meeting in Greytown last Thursday evening an invitation was issued for all those engaged in any aspect of Wairarapa's arts and cultural sector to become involved in the establishment of the Creative Wairarapa Trust, either as trustees or as members of the sector's advisory group.

Between 60 and 70 people attended the release of the report on the region's arts sector, commissioned by the Creative Wairarapa steering group from Wellington arts consultancy Arts Access Aotearoa.

Many Wairarapa people were involved in the research phase of the report, which summarises the state of the arts locally and proposes a range of strategies to develop and promote the arts. These include encouraging "cultural tourism" to the Wairarapa, increasing opportunities for employment in the arts, and promoting excellence in all artistic endeavours.

One of several strategies proposed is that the region should capitalise on the large number of unique festivals held here throughout the year, coordinating the promotion of these as a "cluster" and building on them to the benefit of related arts activities. Other possible "clusters" might be geographically based, focusing on the unique cultural character of the various towns.

Creative Wairarapa spokesman Eric Turner told the meeting that one of the key tasks of the new organisation would be to examine these proposed strategies and determine those that will best meet the needs of local arts sector members.

A key recommendation of the report is the formation of an arts development trust and sector organisation. Masterton Mayor Bob Francis told the meeting that this part of the exercise is now under way and people are invited to nominate individuals to serve as trustees on the board of the organisation.

There were a number of questions from people at the meeting concerning the composition of the trust, which Eric Turner says will definitely be taken into account as the steering group finalises the trust deed. "We welcome any and all comment on what we are trying to achieve", he said.

The trust board is likely to include nominees from among local community arts councils, business and tourism interests, the education sector, district councils, and tangata whenua. A specified number of members will be nominated by the supporting advisory group, to which anybody in the arts can belong.

A number of people expressed their willingness to become involved and placed their names on a list as potential trust or advisory committee members.

In presenting her company's report, Arts Access Aotearoa chief executive Penny Eames commended it to Wairarapa people as an opportunity to build on high quality local arts and cultural activity, which she believes will contribute to Wairarapa's growth and prosperity.

Copies of the full report may be obtained from Gillian Mangin, Creative Wairarapa secretary, by phoning 06 378-9666 or writing c/o PO Box 444 Masterton. Copies will also be distributed to libraries and Council offices in all three Council districts.

Steve Oxenham
editor, artscape
P.O. Box 99
Carterton
(025)604 6580


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