This month, the Arts NSW Policy & Strategy team took a roadtrip through Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra and Albury to inform the delivery of actions under Create in NSW, the NSW Government’s Arts & Cultural Policy. Find out what we did and who we met!
Our travels focused on seeing cultural infrastructure and talking to the people who have turned buildings into lively regional hubs for the community and visitors. We met with Wagga City Council, Albury City Council and Cootamundra Shire Council – each generously speaking to us about arts and cultural development in their region.
Trip highlights included:
Our stay in Albury took in QEII Square, home to MAMA (the new Murray Art Museum Albury), the LibraryMuseum and the Entertainment Centre. The precinct’s success in growing local and visitor participation highlighted the potential of an integrated arts and cultural offering with coordinated planning and an ambitious vision.
Albury’s Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, commissioned by Albury City Council in 2014, was another local gem. Running 5km along the Murray, the trail places Aboriginal art by local artists at the centre of weekend cycles, walks and runs for locals and provides a unique drawcard for visitors.
In Coota, we spent a morning visiting the Arts Centre, a multi-purpose space for performing and visual arts supported by Arts NSW, and speaking to a local artist.
We had a warm welcome from Wagga, getting an insider’s perspective on the development of its arts and cultural precinct, Civic Square, and the career pathways a regional city offers creative arts graduates. Civic Square brings together Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (which houses the National Art Glass Collection), the Museum of the Riverina, the Civic Theatre and Library. The precinct creates public spaces for performance and arts participation, drawing residents from across the Eastern Riverina.
Arts and health was another focus as we viewed the art works bringing colour to the recently redeveloped Rural Referral Hospital.
Our warm thanks go to our wonderful Regional Arts Development Officers at Eastern Riverina Arts, Scott Howie, and Murray Arts, Karen Gardner. Scott & Karen ensured we connected with places and people that made our research invaluable.
Published: 17 February 2016