Councillor launches push to set up local arts alliance
PEOPLE often overlook the arts, especially as an economic force in a community, culture and performing arts portfolio councillor Phil Truscott says.
So an alliance of local artists that will drive the development of arts and culture across the Fraser Coast is firmly his sights.
"Art can attract people to a region - just look at sculpture festivals that are held around the country," he said.
"When we talk about arts we mean all arts: the fine arts such as sculpture, painting and the performing arts such as dance and musicians as well as writers and poets.
"The arts are very important and ensure we have a vibrant community.
"They can also be an economic driver which has been largely overlooked.
"We have great facilities such as the Brolga Theatre and soon to be opened River Stage, Gatakers Art Space as well as stages along the Esplanade at Hervey Bay, the Community Centre in Howard or the ZPAC Theatre."
But he said the Fraser Coast arts community was fragmented.
"While we have an abundance of fantastic talent, the talented people are not widely known," he said.
"A Local Arts Alliance, a not-for-profit group, would bring everyone together to work to boost the arts, lift the profile of local artists, help artists get gigs to improve their income as well as fight for funding."
The first stage to develop the Local Arts Alliance woulld be to call all artists together to chart a way forward, Cr Truscott said.
"Two meetings, one in Maryborough and one in Hervey Bay, will be held in July for all artists to hear about the plan and put forward their views," he said.
"The alliance could then develop a database of artists that could be used by groups putting together shows and events; it could act as a booking agent to connect artists and event organisers; it could apply for government grants to encourage the development of local artists; and organise events and conferences such as the Queensland Music Teachers Conference that will be held at the Brolga in June.
"I think there is room to develop a regular market-type event which promotes our artists or we could tap into the festival scene."