Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Wellington council adopts arts strategy

Wellington City Council has today unanimously adopted Aho Tini 2030 – Arts, Culture and Creativity Strategy, designed to further support the arts and artists in the Capital.

Council says the strategy focuses on access and inclusion, higher visibility of Ngā Toi Māori, and the success of the city’s artists and arts organisations, and includes a key theme of activating the city’s places and spaces. 

Mayor, Andy Foster said Wellingtonians were passionate and very supportive of the arts, culture, and creativity, and the city attracted thinkers, creators and innovators because of that.

“In this year’s Residents Monitoring Survey, 86% of Wellingtonians agreed that the city has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene, and the same number was also satisfied with Council delivered arts and cultural events.

“But this bold new strategy will lead Wellington through the next ten years of innovation and creation in our city. It’s one of a number of plans and strategies which will help us to deliver on our 2040 vision for the city.”

He said the strategy was a genuine co-creation between the Council, community and the arts and creative sector, including extensive engagement with specific groups such as independent and indigenous arts communities and artists experiencing barriers to participation. 

Aho Tini means weaving the many threads that bind us together within our culture and community. 

“Wellington’s creative heart and identity has become the city’s beating pulse; that’s why this strategy will add such value to us all,” said Councillor, Nicola Young.

“Aho Tini provides direction for the Council and council-controlled organisations (CCOs) in partnership with mana whenua, in supporting and investing in our city’s creative future.

“All Council arts and cultural activities will be aligned to Aho Tini 2030, including programmes, projects, funding and policies. The action plan includes increased grants allocations, subsidies and better access to venues, and more opportunities for the arts world to participate in making decisions.”

Aho Tini is the first arts and creative sector strategy since 2011 and has been widely welcomed by the sector with over 90% support after a year of consultation, Council said. 

Kahukura CEO/Artistic Director, Tānemahuta Gray said there had been huge jumps in development within the Māori arts sector in the past six years, but welcomed the strategy to keep momentum going. 

“There are successes like the Kia Mau Festival and Taki Rua’s base at Te Haukāinga but there are also significant challenges for the independents,” he said.

“We risk losing artists due to the high costs of living in Wellington, and we don’t want to lose this grassroots base of our community. But with an average income of only $13,000 per year for artists, we want to keep supporting the Māori and independent sector through these challenging COVID-19 times.”

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