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Imagine how artistic the Budget could be

Imagine how artistic the Budget could be

Green MP Mike Ward says the additional $30 million for the arts in today's Budget is great news, but he wants an even greater commitment applied more imaginatively. "Too often the arts are seen as an add on for special occasions and something that only occurs in special places, such as art galleries, theatres and concert halls," said Mike Ward, the Green Party's Arts and Culture Spokesperson.

"We need look no further than any marae to learn how the arts can turn what would be an everyday meeting in any old setting into a dramatic, enriching and meaningful experience.

"Delightful aesthetics and gentle challenges to assumptions should an integral part of everyday life for everyone. Art and artists have the capacity to enrich and make special the ordinary moments of our lives, to make our workspaces more interesting, to make our healing places more healing, to enhance learning in our schools or to make our prisons real places of reform. The artists in our community are among our most imaginative and creative individuals and have a great deal to contribute to their wider community.

"We are not looking for artists to receive handouts. Smart executives in the state and private sectors would do well to consider appointing senior staff members with responsibility for seeking out synergies between their own activities and those of the arts community.

"In the spirit of Labour's 'whole of government' approach, the Greens look forward to the day when every ministry purchases services from artists as a regular element of achieving their goals. While the Government may not be in a position to direct business, it could lead in its own ministries and provide incentives to the private sector to come up with similar initiatives of their own.

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