The arts help to shape a region’s identity, foster community wellbeing and develop the economy – so what infrastructure will this region need as the Sunshine Coast local government area grows into a major region of more than 500,000 people by 2041?
Over the past nine months, Sunshine Coast Council and industry stakeholders have been conducting research to identify these needs and developing a blueprint for a network of built infrastructure that will provide for the region’s growing arts and cultural needs.
At its Ordinary Meeting today (November 14) council endorsed the Regional Arts Infrastructure Framework (RAIF) which provides an agreed strategic direction for the delivery of arts infrastructure by council and potential external partners until 2041.
Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the Regional Arts Infrastructure Framework would help to make sure our facilities matched community expectations, in addition to supporting our growing local creative industries.
“This framework will help to ensure we progressively develop the right infrastructure, in the right places to support our current and future arts and cultural sector,” Cr Baberowski said.
“We’ve learned that it’s not just about buildings, it’s also about creating opportunities for artists to learn, practice, connect, collaborate, perform and showcase.
“The framework will be used by council as part of its long-term planning processes to help us make better, well sequenced decisions.
“It will also support our advocacy efforts with external stakeholders, including state and federal government and the private sector.
“The RAIF will ultimately help us to reach new audiences and markets, maximise the community’s participation in the arts and showcase the vibrancy of our region, raising the arts and cultural profile of the Sunshine Coast to attract international, national and regional artists and audiences.”
The RAIF identifies a viable and integrated network of infrastructure, including role, function, space requirements, preferred locations, co-location opportunities, priorities and required timeframes. The framework ensures the network is reflective of the Sunshine Coast landscape, character and cultural heritage, including First Nations requirements.
To develop the RAIF, an extensive sector and stakeholder engagement program was conducted with key arts sector stakeholders, the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board, councillors, council officers, arts facility hirers and industry stakeholders including Visit Sunshine Coast, USC, Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance, Screen Queensland and the live entertainment industry.
The extensive engagement program that informed the region’s first ever 20-year Arts Plan was also reviewed and referenced to ensure feedback on arts and cultural facilities was also considered as part the development of the RAIF.
In line with the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-38, arts disciplines considered in the development of the RAIF included literature, music, theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance, other performing arts such as comedy, puppetry, visual arts and crafts, screen (film, television, online), arts education and training, community arts, cultural development and emerging and experimental arts.