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Creating Queensland’s Future: Ipswich Forum Report

Creating Queensland’s Future: Ipswich Forum Report

The Ipswich Regional Forum: Creating Queensland’s Future, was held on Thursday, 29 November 2018 at the Ipswich Reserve Corporate Centre. Hosted by BEMAC, on behalf of Arts Queensland (AQ), the Forum was an invaluable opportunity for BEMAC and AQ to further understand the specific challenges and aspirations held by the creative community of Ipswich.

Attended by the Honourable Leanne Enoch, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts, Jennifer Howard MP and local member Jim Maddon, as well as approximately 25 participants consisting of local government organisations, businesses, not-for-profits and community residents, the forum sought to identify barriers for engaging, opportunities for the community and propose a way forward to ensure a vibrant and growing creative sector.

Key themes that emerged were:

  • The need for significant improvement in communication and information sharing in Ipswich
  • A lack of support, opportunity and encouragement for the Ipswich arts community
  • Access to money – whether this be in regards to funding, salaries, venue access, or government support
  • Youth engagement is lacking and needs to be addressed
  • Cross sector engagement for artists – to work alongside one another, not against
  • Activating Ipswich’s heritage, history and culture (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) to embrace and create new opportunity from this

 

  • Barriers for engaging
    • Arts, Cultural and creative sector education investment and practice
    • Communication and information sharing strategies at all levels needs to be improved
    • Lack of places and venues in the local community for practice and performance
    • Grant application process is convoluted and challenging
    • Community commitment to Arts, Cultural Creative sector investment, participation and growth

 

  • Opportunities for the community
    • Population growth and diversity can be major contributors to strengthening and growing the local sector
    • Appoint local representatives at all levels of government to coordinate the arts, cultural and creative sector
    • Continue to embrace and celebrate local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and stories
    • Intergenerational arts, cultural and creative sector skills sharing (e.g. aged homes, disability, etc.)
    • Explore sectoral innovation via Fire Station 101
    • Investment in existing and new arts, cultural and creative sector infrastructure that is affordable to use for the local community

 

  • The way forward to ensure a vibrant and growing sector in your community
    • Invest, develop and deliver arts, cultural and creative sector education programs in all parts of the community (e.g. schools, aged homes, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families, multicultural communities, etc.)
    • Consolidate and evolve the local arts, cultural and creative sector strategy that encapsulates and recognises all elements in the community
    • Investment into education, infrastructure, venues, talent and community
    • Utilisation of existing infrastructure showcasing local community initiatives, talent and events
    • Investment in existing and new arts, cultural and creative sector infrastructure that is affordable to use for the local community
    • Acknowledge the past history in Ipswich
    • Continue to embrace and celebrate local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and stories
    •  Invest in intergenerational arts, cultural and creative sector skills sharing (e.g. aged homes, disability, etc.)

 

RASN Ipswich projects leverage the vision outlined in the Ipswich City Council Arts & Culture Strategy 2018–2023 and the activation of the city’s venues and resources, including the proposed Ipswich Performing Arts Centre.