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

Contributor:
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 https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/Toi-tu-Hawkes-Bay

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