Culture counts

over 6 years ago

We are working to make Wollongong a great place for arts and culture. If we were to be the most highly regarded city in Australia for arts and culture in 10 years time what would be happening here?

Consultation has concluded

  • Hopeful over 6 years ago
    You need to have a look at cities which are successful in the arts, take all the best things and develop them here there is no reason why wollongong carnt be a success. People with drive talent and imagination and funding from the tourism board could do amazing things be professional about it direct you great artists to venues yes there are not enough inspired venues. Get some advice from overseas or ask successful artists what is needed. Fill the venues with artists every night and people will come because you can just drop in after work or with your friends who are visiting let them use the venues for free if they are talented what is the point in empty venues advertise on the street
  • N. over 6 years ago
    There are many things to address. However I only have so much time in which to do so. Firstly there needs to be a council sponsored and funded art prize, something to draw people and artists to the center of town, easier said than done you may think, but tougher goals have been achieved. Also there really needs to be a stronger relationship with high schools and primary schools and their students, they need to go to the smaller spaces, like Project, Studio 19 etc. The city gallery has a great relationship, though it's a little easier for them. Kids of all ages need to be engaging with the artist run spaces. More money made available to artist run spaces. Greater engagement with aged groups, youth groups, learning and disability groups and organizations, these groups should be coming in to the cultural environment in Wollongong. A stronger relationship with the University and it's Creative Arts faculty, and the greater academic community itself, encouraging students to become volunteers at artist run galleries as well as other cultural institutions; there needs to be a motivation for them, a gleaming reference, gift certificates etc in order to motivate them. Also a drop in rent prices at council owned artist run spaces, it is a major deterrent for artists to exhibit, as well as other potential parties to use the space, "Too expensive" is what I hear A LOT. There is a residency program through the City Gallery, however I believe that there need to be others, perhaps a travelling residency/scholarship etc. AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG ARTISTS TO EARN A LIVING DOING WHAT THEY HAVE SPENT THREE OR MORE YEARS; PLUS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, STUDYING. Encourage the city gallery to offer more paying positions for creatives, even more volunteer opportunities. This is just a rambling of some of the many things I have in mind, and some of them maybe executed at a rapid fire pace, but I think that my message has come across, whether it is heard is another thing altogether.
  • Vicki over 6 years ago
    Arts and culture also includes heritage and history. For a town of its size, Wollongong's museum is sadly under-resourced and under-utilised by its community (despite the valiant efforts of a small band of committed volunteers). Many, many regional towns throughout NSW and Australia have museums which explore their history and diversity as well as pondering the future for those communities too. Wollongong's museum needs a massive injection of state and federal funds. Only recently Orange was awarded $4 million in federal funds for their museum and Newcastle, a city very similar to Wollongong, has a world class, state of the art museum opened just two years ago. Museums offer communities many benefits both culturally and economically and Wollongong is missing out on all of these.
  • Ceridwen Suiter over 6 years ago
    affordable public liability insurance sponsored by local governmentviva la gong festival that includes all local artists and community groupsartist development workshopsaffordable performances for all comers by international and national and state recognised artistscultural development activities sponsored by council, run by local artists which engage with all levels of the communityassistance with funding applications for all artiststouring festivals which include local artistsvenues which are affordable and accessible and safean end to the culture of cronyism and corruptiontransparency and accountabilitycouncil support for volunteer groups to engage artists in their activitiescouncil support could be in kind as much as financialbusking, street art, and public art projects, pop up performances, a good advertising free venue in the city centre with excellent sound qualities
  • lauragoodin over 6 years ago
    As a full-time arts practitioner in Wollongong for nearly 20 years now, I can say that one of the biggest obstacles (if not THE biggest) to a vital arts scene here is the deplorable lack of affordable performance venues. With hard work and a lot of money, you can eventually find a space for your play, concert, reading, exhibit, or what have you, but if you don't have the money to pay for it in advance, good luck. An arts precinct must be comprised of more than just extremely expensive professional spaces (like IPAC); it must also include entry-level performance spaces that are clean, safe, accessible, and equipped with basic performance technology (such as at least a rudimentary sound system and some lighting).
    • Admin Commented Have Your Say Wollongong over 6 years ago
      Hi Lauragoodin we will be engaging the community about developing live music venues soon so this is a timely discussion for more than one reason. You might like to pop over to our Picture your evening topic too.
    • wiffen1 over 6 years ago
      agreed, however i think the greater problem behind this one is audience development. there are some great affordable options that appear from time to time across all arts platforms (unfortunately many tend to be short lived due to the associated problems) however it doesnt matter how affordable a space or project is, if there is insufficient audience or otherwise interested parties to invest in the arts on show then it is irrelevant.
    • Susan Conroy over 6 years ago
      Thanks Laura - we will add your feedback as to what may be negatively impacting on stepping stones to the development of creative theatre practice and look at what options might be to improve the landscape.
  • John Vucic over 6 years ago
    In the Easter holidays I organised a tour to Croatia. On this tour we went to a coastal town called Zadar and visited an amazing sound work. It is called the Zadar Sea Organ. Essentially they are three large steps that people can sit on while they listen to the sea playing the organ, heard through the holes in the steps. It was designed by a Croatian artist.. Very close-by they have a homage to the sun, which is about twenty meters in diameter, flat on the ground. It is powered by solar panels that collects power during the day and lights up in a mesmerising display at night. The Indigenous meaning of Wollongong is place by the sea. I believe we need to draw attention to our beautiful beaches & strong arts community. Taking inspiration from Zadar may be apt. The beauty of listening to the sea 'play' its own piece, influenced by the elements is meditative & inspirational. Perhaps we could do something similar - it certainly would be a tourist draw-card. I found this on YouTube, hope it works: Otherwise just look up Zadar Sea Organ.
    • wiffen1 over 6 years ago
      i am familiar with the sea organ in zadar and agree that it is an excellent piece, there are also many examples of great and inspirational public art, architecture and projects around the world however im not sure that Wollongong needs to proliferate this idea of having 'something similar'. i know that these things will continue and it is great to look to other areas for inspiration but it would be nice to see Wollongong embrace its moniker of 'city of innovation'. I am not suggesting that your proposal would be to have a sea organ in Wollongong of course however this is an ongoing themem that emerges in areas of Wollongongs society and culture. Alternatively if we do feel the need to copy other ideas then we need to elevate them and take them to new heights as opposed to cramming them into restricted budgets and insufficient spaces to create a watered down version of something that is already a tourist attraction for somewhere else. Awesome that people in Wollongong are aware of such great projects and interested in embracing ideas
    • Susan Conroy over 6 years ago
      Hi JohnI agree, the Sea Organ is a beautiful object which engages all who sit on the steps. A lovely inspiration for Wollongong
  • Lucas over 6 years ago
    One of my favourite displays of public art in Wollongong is at the University of Wollongong. In the middle of the Duck Pond stands a statue of a duck, which was placed in memorial of the infamous duck that used to plague the university. I feel that this should be the approach to public art as a community; one that catches the stories and feelings of the ordinary citizenry. While the stories of our national heros and celebrities should obviously be captured, I feel that not enough is done to capture the everyday hero or people who enrich our lives everyday, and the quirky and exotic stories of the region should be told as they are what makes us unique as a region. Public art is a perfect conduit for expressing these stories.
  • Admin Commented Have Your Say Wollongong over 6 years ago
    We have lots of great public art in Wollongong - but I'd like to see it a more obvious feature of our city. Merimbula for example has great public art that is part of the atmosphere of the town. What do you think?
    • wiffen1 over 6 years ago
      great public art doesnt necessarily have to be obvious and monumental. look at the city of Melbournes laneways commissions, a program of curated artworks that are ephemeral in nature, lasting for a season before being decommissioned and the grants for this reward artists with up to $30,000 (at last i checked) to accomplish the project. Olafur Eliassons 'waterfalls' in New York city were a massive project funded by the 'public art fund' costing $15.5 million and were only in place from june through october 2008. then there is the 'fourth plinth' in trafalgar square in london which is used as a constantly changing exhibition space which has had a number of interesting temporary projects commissioned. on the other hand it would be nice to see the architectural landscape of Wollongong improve to include some more public art leanings and beautify the the city instead of marring it. it would also be nice to see Wollongong embrace its 'city of innovation' moniker by taking more risks instead of consistently assimilating ideas from other cities
  • Susan Conroy over 6 years ago
    Character is at the heart of story telling. It's also vital for cultural policy and planning. Character can have physical characteristics, for some people it's about a way of being while for others it's related to attachment. HOw would you describe teh character of Wollongong?
  • Susan Conroy over 6 years ago
    When I think about culture I am talking about all the ways we express and communicate who we are, our attitudes and beliefs, our cultural and ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. Examples of cultural expression include celebrations, art, music, language, architecture, history and heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs, fashion and food. What is important for to think about for Wollongong with a new cultural plan on the way?
  • Susan Conroy over 6 years ago
    I agree that public art can make a great contribution to the atmosphere of a place. There are lost opportunities if public art commissioning is not linked to planning and development assessment processes. There are good examples of requirements for public art being integrated into Council Development Control Plans's such as Willoughby and Parramatta City Councils. Does anyone know of other Councils?