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New arts and culture strategy draws Hawke's Bay creatives together

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A thriving arts and culture sector enriches community wellbeing, and in Hawke’s Bay a new strategy has been developed to celebrate, support and promote the region’s unique cultural identity.

Spearheaded by the Hastings District Council, the strategy is called Toi-TÅ« Hawke’s Bay, and provides a framework within which creatives can collaborate to promote and express a common regional vision and achieve positive community outcomes.

Hastings District Council group manager community facilities and programmes Alison Banks said the process began in 2017 when the council identified a need to review and update its arts and culture strategy.

Members of the arts community also voiced the need for a regional approach to arts and culture as a whole. "The arts community was very supportive of the development of the framework and very vocal around a regional approach. Council was equally vocal in ensuring mana whenua were well engaged and a key player in the development of Toi-TÅ«," Mrs Banks said.

Translated, "Toi-TÅ«" refers to uplifting and sustaining the arts, culture and creativity to the highest level.

The process took longer than anticipated. There were a number of workshops to engage with the community, followed by deeper and wider conversations from the beginning of last year with mana whenua and a cross section of the creative community.

"This engagement showed that there was an appetite for a sector-led regional approach to enable coordination and collaboration across disciplines, entities and territorial boundaries," Mrs Banks said.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that while a regional approach would continue to be developed through discussions with neighbouring councils, Hastings District Council had made a commitment to facilitate the delivery of Toi-TÅ« and the actions identified.

"Hawke’s Bay is a culturally rich region, where creative activity is part of what makes it an exciting place to live," Mrs Hazlehurst said.

"Toi-TÅ« is a response that hopes to bring collective intention across the region in support of this vibrant and vital contributor to the community."

The strategy is on the Hastings District Council website

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