1 October 2008
Greater Shepparton City Council has started work on its first comprehensive arts and cultural strategy which is designed to improve arts and culture outcomes for the municipality.
The Arts and Cultural Strategy is about bringing together all the different aspects of Council's work in this area and joining with other stakeholders in the community. The strategy will incorporate ideas that enable the transference of culture and inter-generational learning (heritage), the celebration of diversity, the nurturing of talent, and provide linkages with the business sector.
Council's Shepparton Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley said arts and culture is a very important part of the community and has an influence on the growth of the city and the impression it has on people.
"It is necessary to have a plan which sets out the strategic direction for the arts and cultural aspect of the municipality so Council can meet its goals for the future," Ms Paisley said.
"Greater Shepparton hosts many festivals, exhibitions and productions which attract a large number of people to the town, contributing to economic growth and prosperity.
"A vibrant cultural city also contributes to our sense of wellbeing, develops pride in our heritage and can assist people to understand different cultural practices.
"A large percentage of the population is interested in culture in some way; whether as visitors to the library, members of arts groups, volunteers at historical societies, students of music, or even if they listen to the radio, cultural activity is all around us.
"In order to determine how to best plan for arts and culture in Greater Shepparton, we want to first find out what cultural activities occur here, what organisations and individuals are contributing to the cultural life of the city and what their needs are for the future.
"We are also interested to know who isn't participating in cultural activity and why that might be the case.
"We invite anyone who has an interest in the cultural life of the region, either as a partron, arts worker, volunteer or participant, to contribute their views about how we can build a vibrant and lively city, characterised by its cultural vitality.
"There is an online survey people can fill out which aims to find out who is participating in cultural activity and what their ideas and needs are for the future. Representatives from key stakeholder groups will also be invited to be interviewed about their organisation. Alternatively people can make written submissions."
Once the survey results and submissions have been collated, a draft strategy will be developed, presented to Council and made available for public comment.
The survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/sheppartonartssurvey or follow the link from the Council website www.greatershepparton.com.au.
Hard copy surveys can be obtained from the Eastbank Centre and returned to Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton VIC 3632 by 5.00pm Saturday 22 November.
More information on the strategy is available on the Council's website www.greatershepparton.com.au.
– Released 2 October