Overall Arts and Culture strategy needed

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“The arts and humanities define who we are as a people. That is their power — to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”  Michelle Obama.


Invercargill CBD, suburbs and Bluff would benefit significantly from an arts and culture strategy.   Such a strategy could draw on the experience and expertise of the existing arts sector in the south, and incorporate the work undertaken by the Art in the Heart – The City Art Centre Project, the CBD redevelopment plans and the pilot work of Arts Murihiku.
In the consultation regarding the city Art centre many participants fed back on the need for

  • A social, interactive hub in the city
  • An artistic anchor point to highlight art
  • Street art
  • Sculptures

(Art in the Heart- The City Art Centre Project- Invercargill, Malcolm-2017- pg 8)


Celebrate what we have

“Where can I find the murals are in our city?” “Who are the artists that I can visit?”

“Can I set up and play in the Queen’s Park Band rotunda, just for fun?”

Invercargill is the home of many talented creative individuals and organisations. Their work contributes vibrancy to our city, but how do we know they exist? There is little signage in our city that highlights our city’s hidden treasures. A willingness to support, extend, strengthen and enhance these people and their talents will enable the city to be a more interesting and exciting place. This will in turn increase the number of visitors we have coming to our city, leading to a growth in our tourism economy.

Research undertaken in Wellington in 2010 indicated “An investment in the arts sector reaps the additional benefit of jobs, tourism and economic growth, as well as quality of life.” (Economic Impact survey for Arts Wellington Angus and Associates,2010).


A vibrant Arts and Cultural sector will bring economic growth to Invercargill.

Action points

  • Promote and highlight the Arts in the city by way of innovative signage, marketing, advertising and media coverage.
  • Provide financial support for artists from all genre to make artistic contributions to our city.

The Art of the Tangata Whenua and other cultures.

It is important that our city reflects the art and culture of our tanagta whenua and the arts of other cultures. Our city is increasingly more multicultural, the arts need to be inclusive and reflect this diversity. The Arts can provide a connection to new migrants to our cities, including the refugees that will join our city.

A vibrant Arts and Cultural sector is inclusive and respects diversity.


Action points

  • Provide more opportunities for the Tangata Whenua to have their Arts and Culture celebrated in our city.
  • Provide more opportunities for different cultures to have their Arts and Culture celebrated in our city.



The Arts connect people

A strong and vibrant Arts scene has the ability to connect people and lift spirits as has been illustrated in South City. The arts should encompass all ages, social and cultural groups and be part of the fabric of the city. The Arts promotes partnerships between arts groups and other community groups / organisations.

Invercargill is the hub of Southland.  The arts strengthen the links between the people of the city and the people of the rural communities.  Existing examples include: rural and city school children’s involvement in Polyfest; city-based artists exhibiting at rural exhibitions such as those held annually at Waikawa and Riversdale; Southland Art Foundation’s artists in residence extending their involvement to rural Southland.


We are connected through the Arts.


Action point

  • Provide more opportunities for promotes partnerships between arts groups and other community groups / organisations.  


Arts rejuvenates cities

Arts has the ability to rejuvenate cities as has been achieved through the AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA https://as220.org/ This arts focused initiative took a city that was dying and has turned it into a vibrant arts hub that enriches the entire community.

We have many empty buildings that would be made more vibrant with the addition of art in them.

We also need to ensure that performance venues are available and user friendly as this will encourage participation.
Accessibility for both artists and audiences across the city will feed into the centre city as the sector gains strength.

Within the district plan we need to ensure that new building ‘tell a story’ and that there is a clear plan for the inclusion of more public art in our city that has links to our citizens.

A vibrant Arts and Cultural sector will bring more life and energy to Invercargill.


Action points

  • Investigate the Space for Artists model https://www.facebook.com/spaceartists/ to make use of empty shops in the CBD
  • Ensure performance venues are accessible and user friendly.
  • Include the need for buildings to tell stories as part of the Long term plan.
  • Formulate a strategic plan to have more public art works in the city.


Anderson  House

Anderson House is a beautiful house set in an idyllic environment that would make a beautiful space to be used as studios for artists of all genre. Spaces could be rented out for a set period of time and at minimal cost. It would allow the public to see artists at work and also allow artists to form possible artistic partnerships with fellow artists. An international example of this may be found at http://www.tyroneguthrie.ie/residencies


Supporting our artists and is beneficial for our community


Action point

  • Investigate the use of Anderson House as a potential Arts space.



How will this be funded?

Ensure that there is targeted Arts funding included within our rates.


Action point

  • Targeted Arts funding is included within our rates.



Invercargill and its’ surrounding areas have much untapped potential. Our position on the edge of the world gives us a unique perspective. We have a sense of rawness and authenticity that can be developed and celebrated through the Arts.

The Arts have the ability to bring us all together as people. To offer hope, joy, celebration and happiness. They let our voices be heard.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso.

Submitted by Arts Murihiku


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