Call for Noosa to be more arty in public

Floating Land 2013 at Boreen Point.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Floating Land 2013 at Boreen Point. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily John McCutcheon

BANKSY-style art, giant sculptures or laser light shows - what sort of public art does Noosa need?

The need for more public art and turning the Tewantin TAFE site into a purpose-built arts centre were two suggestions to emerge from a Noosa workshop attended by more than 70 people earlier this year at The J to help formulate an arts, culture and heritage plan for Noosa Shire.

As well the participants came up with ideas such as a sculpture garden, more nurturing of young creatives and greater use of public spaces for cultural activities.

Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the Noosa Council called Trends in the Australian Arts and Cultural Sector mentions the use of a "transient visitor levy” on accommodation houses and restaurants as just one means of helping pay for a more vibrant art scene to attract cultural tourism.

The report said the Edinburgh Council is lobbying the British Government to give it the chance for such a tourism tax, while crowd funding and tapping into government and philanthropic grants worth millions of dollars are possible funding sources. The plan preparation aims to audit existing community arts, creative industries, cultural and heritage activities including events and tourism and infrastructure in the shire. The plan would identify gaps, duplications or opportunities for partnerships in delivery of arts, culture and heritage services and facilities. A plan project team is developing a draft of the cultural plan to be released for public comment later this year.

"Engagement with the cultural life of the community as an observer or active participant has long been recognised as a key to a healthy community,” the trend report said.

"Cultural engagement builds social capital; enhances a sense of community belonging; stimulates active citizenship and creates opportunities for collaboration between community groups.

"Evidence also continues to mount for the impact of the arts and creativity not just on the general well-being of the community but on the specific health of the individual with specialist research undertaken from all over the world.”

The Federal Government has come up with Catalyst - $12 million in annual funding for innovative projects .

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