$20,000 goes to arts and culture

Pleas from the arts community for an arts and culture strategy for Dunedin have resulted in city councillors setting aside $20,000 for the development of one over the next two years.

Councillors considering the city's budgets for the next 10 years, yesterday resolved that $10,000 should be spent in 2012-13 and $10,000 the following year on developing an arts and culture strategy based on the recent Transforming Dunedin Symposium.

The motion came after more than 50 people made heartfelt submissions on the council's long-term budget, most horrified Dunedin had no arts and culture strategy and all asking for one to be developed.

Council chief executive Paul Orders told councillors he thought the work could be similar to that done over the past few years on producing a draft economic strategy for the city, to which many businesses had contributed.

"We need to look into a similar kind of partnership with the arts community [in developing and arts and culture strategy]."

Mayor Dave Cull said the volume and quality of submissions on the subject had been a real eye-opener and underlined the latent potential in the city's arts and culture sector.

"They pointed out that there was a big bit under the iceberg we were perhaps not aware of."

Cr Chris Staynes said allocating $10,000 might look to some like lip-service, but they had to start somewhere.

"But it should tell people there are things we can do, and we are taking it seriously."

• In response to another matter raised in submissions on an arts strategy for the city, councillors resolved to adopt a policy that wherever an above-ground council project was being investigated, the inclusion of an artistic component had to be considered.


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