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Jan Wright, left, Hilary Falconer, Fiona Cameron at the event. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Arts strategy to be reviewed

More than 50 creatives gathered at the Grahamstown Bar and Diner on November 29 for the Creative Coromandel Mix and Mingle event to connect the Coromandel art community.
One of the main topics discussed at the event was the review of the Coromandel Arts & Creative Industries Strategy, which was first adopted by Thames-Coromandel District Council and an Advisory Board in 2016 to support Coromandel artists.
Former Matarangi art consultant Hilary Falconer, who is undertaking the review process, told the audience the reason for the review was because there had been a change in people’s attitude towards art.
“Maybe Covid has made us all rethink our priorities in life, but I think the increase in interest and acceptance of the value of arts and creativity from all sectors of society could be forged to support a creative community,” she said.
“The Coromandel is alive with artists, it’s an integral element of this area of Aotearoa, and keeping the vision of art as part of all of our lives is important for economic and social well being.
“What we want to look at is what has been achieved from the strategy, what still needs to be achieved, what areas have been successful and where more work needs to be done.”
Hilary encouraged Coromandel creatives to provide their input for the review to gain support for their art projects.
“We need to take the temperature of the Coromandel arts community after a challenging few years and to find the supporting evidence relevant to your needs and your plans for the future,” she said.
“So when a community consultation is being held in your area, I hope you treat it as so many people did in 2015, as an exciting opportunity to meet with other creatives where great ideas developed, enthusiasm was sparked, collaboration began, and a sense of community was fostered.
“I look forward to seeing you all in February when I’ll be carrying out the consultation workshops.”