After two months of public exhibition in 2019 and extensive community feedback, Central Coast Council has formally adopted its 2020-25 Cultural Plan, set to position the region as a cultural growth hub, with arts and culture to be integral in everything from community gatherings to tourism.
Mayor, Lisa Matthews, said the Cultural Plan was a fantastic opportunity for the diverse arts and cultural sector to work towards a shared vision with Council over the next five years.
“The Cultural Plan will position arts and culture as key to strengthening the community, increasing the region’s economic development, and supporting its potential as a creative destination,” Cr Matthews said.
“Moving forward, we will look to create opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to learn, create and be heard, participating in, and contributing to, the cultural life of the Central Coast in the process.”
The Plan outlines a vision for the future direction of arts and culture in the region, with four key objectives: building a viable creative identity; growing our creative sector; embracing our cultural life; and, enlivening our cultural spaces and places.
It gives a variety of methods by which these objectives can be achieved.
In building a creative identity for the region, it outlines a vision for encouraging regional arts and culture to be at the forefront of all civic celebrations.
It aims to ensure that the region becomes known for its rich Aboriginal arts and culture through enhanced strategic partnerships and to promote high-quality festivals, programs and partnerships.
It also outlines plans for a central role for arts and culture in driving tourism and the establishment of a regional arts information hub.
In growing the creative sector, the Plan suggests supporting artists in testing, developing and realising their work and facilitating local professional connections to drive the growth of screen, music, literature and performing arts.
“We should link and partner with out of region markets and audiences”, the Plan says, “and provide opportunities for local talent to learn and develop, perform and showcase original work, as well as ensuring pathways for new and emerging artists.
“Embracing our cultural life will involve enhancing a deepened understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage for the community and creating opportunities for local storytelling.”
It stresses the importance of ensuring Aboriginal leaders have the central role in indigenous programs and strengthening cultural networks, community arts, local history and heritage.
Enlivening our cultural spaces and places will be achieved by ensuring arts and cultural festivals encompass regional creativity and meaning of places, and activating public spaces with arts, performance and creative programming.
Complementary to this is increasing outdoor programming to make the arts more visible and enabling the creative sector to play an active role in the establishment of a vibrant night time economy.
Another element is developing and optimising places and spaces for artists to connect, create, collaborate and show their work, and providing creative hubs and precincts in various town centres.
It outlines Council’s role in achieving these objectives by listening and advocating, investing and promoting, and future planning.
The progress of the Plan is to be reviewed in five years.
Agenda Item 2.6
Central Coast Council meeting, February 24
Central Coast Cultural Plan 2020-2025