DO we value the arts in Warrnambool?
How do we make creativity and art the norm in our city?
How do we grow and share and capitalise on the artistry and ideas we already have?
These are some of the big questions that will be put to Warrnambool City Council as it formulates a plan for the cultural and creative development of the city over the next few years.
The questions and discussions that will be handed to the council were generated on Thursday night by a special forum featuring about 40 of Warrnambool’s artistic and cultural movers and shakers.
Run by Auspicious Arts Incubator, the forum aimed to create information the council can use as part of its future interaction with art and creativity in the city, which has already formed part of the CBD rejuvenation plan and is seen as potentially strengthening and supporting the city’s existing artistic community.
Auspicious Arts Incubator chief executive John Paul Fischbach said the council “had gone through a traditional community consultation process involving focus groups and surveys”.
“The problem with those is you hear the same thing and it reinforces what you know,” he said.
“We’re trying new approaches ... and finding a deeper level of engagement.
“The next step is council will have a look at those questions and (ask) ‘what role can we play and what can we support?’.”
Fischbach said what he saw at Thursday’s event and around Warrnambool was “incredibly inspiring”.
“Clearly there are people invested in the idea of a ‘Creative Warrnambool’ and (the council’s plan) is about how council draws on them and how do they draw on council,” he said.
“From what I’ve seen, Warrnambool is heading in a positive direction.”
The next stage of the process is expected to happen in the coming weeks with a further gathering of some of the participants.