Have your say on art and creativity in Whakatū

17/03/2022 11:50am
The Council working group guiding the new art strategy: (left to right) Councillor Pete Rainey, Councillor Tim Skinner, and Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar.
The Council working group guiding the new art strategy: (left to right) Councillor Pete Rainey, Councillor Tim Skinner, and Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar.

Nelson City Council is leading the development of a new strategy to support the growth of a stronger creative sector, and we want to hear from you.

The public is invited to contribute ideas, stories, and knowledge to shape a visionary new Arts Strategy for Nelson Whakatū. Anyone can learn more and have their say at www.createnelson.nz.

It has been more than 12 years since the city developed an arts strategy, and the creative arts sector has been badly affected by the impacts of COVID-19. The new strategy aims to support innovation and creation in the city over the coming decade and help Nelson realise the full potential of the creative sector and the economic and community wellbeing that it supports. 

A working group with Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar, Councillor Pete Rainey and Councillor Tim Skinner is guiding the strategy.

We asked members of the working group why a new art strategy is important to them?

  • "We punch above our weight with the incredible artists and creators that call our region home. Art and creativity is part of the culture and character of Nelson and a new arts strategy will help to support and strengthen their ability to enrich and enliven our city even more," says Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar.
  • "Creativity and the arts are a huge drawcard for people visiting and living in our region. A new arts strategy is important to ensure we are supporting and growing the social and economic benefits of art and creativity for the whole community, and being smart about how to get the most from our creative sector," says Councillor Tim Skinner.
  • "COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the performing arts, with concerts and events cancelled. We need to have a plan to ensure the creative sector stays vibrant in Nelson so we can see the return and development of more events, performances, and festivals for our community to enjoy," says Councillor Pete Rainey. 

The strategy will look at the people, places and potential of the creative sector in Nelson. Input from the community will help to develop a shared vision and mission to celebrate and encourage the arts in Nelson. Council wants to hear your ideas for improving outcomes for the creative community.

The work will be supported by local strategy firm OD&Co with lead facilitators Johny O'Donnell and Ali Boswijk.

"We know our community is rich in human and natural resources, but a continual outpouring of creativity is something we cannot take for granted. This strategy is about being purposeful in our approach and coalescing around a shared aspiration to realise the true potential of the creative sector for Whakatū Nelson," says Ali Boswijk.

"Creativity is not a discretionary activity, it's the cornerstone of our economic development. Our region already enjoys enormous benefits from the work of the creative sector, but for creativity and the arts to truly thrive - we need to build the underpinning infrastructure and culture that can foster a space where creativity can flourish," says Johny O'Donnell.

To learn more and get involved visit www.createnelson.nz