Gosford needs a cultural precinct

One of several mock-ups made by FOPAP of the inside of a future Performing Arts CentreOne of several mock-ups made by FOPAP of the inside of a future Performing Arts Centre

[Forum] There are hundreds of loyal members who have, since before the turn of the century, been supporters of the Friends of the Performing Arts Precinct (FOPAP) in the drive to have a venue built on the Central Coast for quality music of all kinds.

They are no doubt feeling very positive now about Central Coast Council, which is currently doing the preparatory investigation regarding the site, the size, the funding and so on, of a building which will bring world stars to perform here. But perhaps more importantly, that local groups will finally have a venue to perform in that complements all their many years of rehearsing and preparation.

Central Coast Council has a vision that will see two branches of the arts receive the investment of funding that is certainly justified when a head count is taken of citizens who use these facilities. All local readers and musicians accept the wisdom of ensuring that our lovers of sport have suitable places to play sport. But at the same time, they believe that all musicians and performers deserve the care and support of our Council too, and that is part of the process that is currently being investigated.

Consultations have been taking place with designers, architects and expert voices from within the performing arts field. The members of FOPAP are pleased that our Regional Conservatorium of Music Director, Patrick Brennan, and President of FOPAP, Barney Waters, have been invited to contribute to Councils consultations. FOPAP recognises that as the regions population increases now and in the forecast future, growth is an economic imperative, but a city is also a living organism, not just tower blocks and roads.

It must also have a heart and soul to speak to our senses, spirits and needs. A cultural precinct in that city can provide for that need.

Email, Aug 6 Barney Waters Friends of the Performing Arts Precinct, Gosford

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