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Baw Baw Creative Communities Strategy to 2029 to cultivate arts and culture needs community feedback by 12 September 2023

Creative Communities Strategy 2023-2029 aims to nurture a vibrant arts and culture community, focusing on inclusivity, diverse programming, functions, partnerships, and legacy-building.

By news@gippsland - 24th August 2023 - Back to News

Creative Communities Strategy 2023-2029 has been endorsed by council to support a vibrant arts and culture community in Baw Baw Shire where local artists and creatives can flourish. Throughout May and June 2023, community members were invited to provide their insight on various topics including West Gippsland Art Centre programming, youth development, and public art opportunities, with feedback directly supporting the development of the Strategy.

Council is inviting the community to attend a Community Conversation session to tell you what we've been hearing and to listen to your ideas and feedback in various dates and locations

Council is inviting the community to attend a Community Conversation session to tell you what we've been hearing and to listen to your ideas and feedback in various dates and locations

Cultural development strategy

The finalised strategy aims to "provide hard and soft infrastructure, services, events and experiences which support the development of a vibrant, sustainable arts and cultural sector" by detailing a series of focus areas to strengthen Baw Baw's cultural development, including:

  • Inclusivity and Diversity - To create a culturally safe space where all residents and visitors can tell their stories and where the community is supported to listen, respect, and learn
  • West Gippsland Arts Centre (Programming) - To provide an opportunity for the community to experience live theatre, music, comedy and a wide range of artistic and cultural experiences
  • Functions and Events - To support the local economy to grow by providing spaces for corporate and private meetings, conferences, and exhibitions
  • Members, Partnerships, and Legacy - To enhance relationships with community members, philanthropists, and private industry to enable a strong and lasting creative community

"As our Shire continues to rapidly grow and change, it is important that we continue to review how we can enhance and better support our creative community," says Cr Annemarie McCabe, Mayor of Baw Baw Shire and member of the Baw Baw Shire Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

"It is also important that we continuously re-examine how we can actively encourage our new and established residents to engage with and support arts and culture in the Shire. This newly endorsed Strategy does just that," she said.

Youth creativity initiative

One key initiative in the strategy is Every Child, Every Year, a West Gippsland Arts Centre program aimed at helping young people in Baw Baw Shire to explore their creative expression. By working alongside local corporate partnerships and community groups the program seeks to provide more diverse and low-cost programs and experiences for young people.

"It is our role as council to ensure we have the adequate spaces and opportunities available for our younger residents to explore their artistic passions without social or cost barriers standing in their way. The Every Child, Every Year program aims to get young people more involved with the community and encourage them to explore and experiment with diverse areas of creativity" says Mayor McCabe.

Cultural precinct development

The strategy also integrates with ongoing works to develop the Baw Baw Culture and Connection Precinct. "This project ultimately seeks to enhance the overall cultural experience for our community" says Mayor McCabe. "The masterplan envisions new civic and community spaces in the heart of Warragul with improved open spaces that support community connectedness."

Currently there is the opportunity for community members to help shape how stage one of the project, the Library and Learning Centre, will operate and serve the community. Community members can provide their feedback by attending a free, online Community Conversation session happening across the Shire in August and September or by submitting feedback online via council's Have Your Say platform. The Creative Communities Strategy 2023-2029 was endorsed at the council meeting on Wednesday 23 August and can be viewed at A-Z Policies and Documents.

Pictures from Baw Baw shire Council Facebook page.


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