Council Arts and Culture Strategy Receives Wide Support

8 December 2011

Wellington City Council's Arts and Culture Strategy - the plan to maintain and reinvigorate the Capital's art scene -was unanimously signed off by Councillors at today's Strategy and Policy Committee meeting.

The strategy received huge support among the arts community and other submitters.

Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, says he's pleased that his colleagues so readily supported what is the culmination of several years' work.

"Council staff and I have been working with the arts community since 2008 in developing this strategy," says Cr Ahipene-Mercer.

"It all started with the 'Mapping the Future of the Arts' workshops three years ago where we spoke with and listened to hundreds of artists and arts professionals. We took their ideas and concerns and got cracking on a strategy to protect our reputation as the city that pulls off the boldest and best arts experiences for our residents and visitors. We have the highest percentage of arts attendees in the country - we are a city of people that are constantly hungry for new and exciting experiences.

"A huge majority of submitters not only support our strategy, but they are very excited about its potential - especially with regard to collaborations."

The Arts and Culture Strategy falls under the City Council's overall vision - Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, alongside the Economic and Digital strategies.

"Many people in the arts community understand our vision," says Cr Ahipene-Mercer. "When they presented to us several weeks ago, I was pleased to see how much awareness there is about how these strategies link together. For example, there are early mutterings of collaborations between media companies, educational institutions and our digital networks. It's an exciting time.

"The Council has always strongly supported the arts, and we think this strategy will pave the way for a very bright future for arts in the Capital."

The Arts and Culture Strategy will go to Council on Friday 16 December for final approval.

For more information on the strategy, phone (04) 499 4444 or see:

Arts - Introduction

For information on Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, see:

Projects - Towards 2040: Smart Capital