We want to start a conversation with you about how culture and creativity can help build stronger communities on the MidCoast!
MidCoast Council acknowledges the Gathang speaking people, the custodians of the land to which this plan applies. We pay our respect to all Aboriginal people of the land and to Elders past, present and future.
Council is developing a Cultural Plan to strengthen our creative community and invigorate our local economy.
The cultural plan is a roadmap for supporting and celebrating arts, culture and creativity in our everyday lives. It will describe the current situation, identify what matters to our community, where improvements can be made and how we can get there in the future.
Feedback provided by the community, via the surveys below, will help Council prepare the plan that aims to build stronger communities and support the creative and cultural life of residents, workers and visitors.
We also want to hear from locals about how our public spaces can be improved through culture and creativity. Using the ‘digital ideas map’ you can tell us about your special places, share your stories, identify what might need a spruce up and any big ideas for the future.
A summary of community ideas from this round of engagement, along with other feedback already received from the MidCoast community, will be presented in the draft Cultural Plan to be published in August 2020.
Why are we developing a Cultural Plan?
The MidCoast is home to a diverse number of communities that each have their own unique story. Yet from freshwater to saltwater, bush to beach, MidCoast also shares a strong sense of belonging, community and history. The Cultural Plan is about so much more than a pretty picture. It is about identifying how our community can come together to celebrate our unique story, and finding ways to make this easier for us all to do, whether that be by freshening up our places, finding out more about our history and each other, or simply getting together (online or offline) and having fun in new inspirational ways.
Council also wants to identify how we can leverage our unique story to help strengthen and diversify our local economy. We know from other regional towns that arts and culture can help transform villages and towns - for example, Tamworth is known for its music festivals, Dungog for its film festival and places like Christchurch, New Zealand, for its urban renewal.
The Cultural Plan will look at specific local opportunities to better use existing facilities and resources so that we can do much more with less and harness the positive energy in the community! The plan will prioritise projects, support cultural infrastructure projects, leverage Council and community groups with State and Federal funding bodies, as well as further educate the community about the value of culture.
What is a Cultural Plan?
A cultural plan is a roadmap for supporting and celebrating arts, culture and creativity in our everyday lives. It describes the current situation (e.g. in terms of what cultural facilities, social infrastructure, and arts and community programs are available, what gaps there may be in resourcing or funding); identifies what matters to our community and how we want to be in the future; and outlines the directions and steps to get from the current state to where we want to be.
As a starting point MidCoast Council will be using five pillars, outlined below, to start the conversation, which have been identified through initial consultation.
1. First nations and cultural diversity - (The Community/Communities)
2. Arts and creative identity - (The Individual)
3. Sustainable spaces and vibrant places - (Public)
4. Thriving sector and infrastructure - (Private/Public)
5. Collaboration and partnerships - (Internal and External)
For more information about Cultural Plans the Local Government guide is a great resource:
All Culture is Local – Good practice in regional cultural mapping & planning from Local Government.
Who should get involved?
Everyone! Start the conversation with family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues – what part of your day could do with a little creativity?
Would your morning coffee be better with a little live music? Could a local artist make a particular wall their canvas? Is there an empty shop front that would be perfect for a dance studio? Or is there a talented student that needs support to become the next entrepreneur?
Your valuable feedback will help shape the Cultural Plan being prepared by the Council project team, led by Rachel Piercy, along with other internal Council stakeholders, the MidCoast Cultural Plan Reference Group, JOC Consulting (who was involved with the Wingham Place Making project) and Left Bank Co (experts in cultural infrastructure).
We want you and your family and friends to start the conversation in one, or all, of the following ways:
1. Contribute to our digital ideas map here
2. Complete the short survey/s - there are two options available depending on how much time you have:
Got a bit of time? (approximately 15 minutes)
In a rush? (approximately 5 minutes)
3. Email us directly via email@example.com
4. Write a submission to Council by using the Submission form(PDF, 1MB).
We look forward to hearing your creative ideas, and hearing what actions you think we should take as part of the MidCoast Cultural Plan