- We have deliberately expanded the strategy to include creativity as we want to bring creativity to all aspects of the Council’s work.
- There is a stronger focus on and commitment to build our relationship with mana whenua and tangata whenua.
- Our understanding of accessibility barriers to inclusion in arts, culture, and creativity has grown. The strategy has a stronger focus on inclusion and accessibility, and the role of arts, culture, and creativity in connecting communities.
- We have a deeper understanding of the need to collaborate, and the complexity and vulnerability of the creative system – especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a strong focus on the sustainability of the arts and creative sector, and the need to support sustainable careers in Wellington.
- Our relationship with technology has moved on and we now see it more as a tool for the work we do than a focus.
What do we do with the submission feedback?
The Mayor and Councillors are given copies of all submissions. We also prepare a report on the submissions, so Councillors know who submitted, how many submitted and what the main themes and comments are. This report includes feedback we received via social media, email and other communication methods.
What is the relationship between the Aho Tini 2030 strategy and the Long Term Plan?
The strategy provides the overarching direction for the Council’s work to support arts, culture and creativity. The LTP is our 10-year budget process so it includes what the council will provide and pay for. Any new initiatives need to be included in these plans either this year, or in our annual planning processes that support the LTP.
How will this strategy be rolled out?
The four focus areas will direct the work of the Council to bring the vision to light. It will also help to guide the work of Council Controlled Organisations such as Experience Wellington and WellingtonNZ. The strategy will inform our decision making, the development of new programmes, prioritise investment and how we work with our communities. We will update our funding criteria and our policies, such as the Public Art Policy, Collection Policy and Events Policy to reflect the new priorities.
What difference will this strategy make and how will we know?
To ensure we know that the strategy is making a difference, we will establish benchmarks in the first year so that we can monitor and evaluate our progress as we go. A key action in the strategy is to establish an Arts and Creative Sector Group to champion the vision and explore trends, opportunities and partnerships. The Group will also support the development of the subsequent Action Plans.
How will this affect funding?
One action is to review our funding priorities to support the implementation of the strategy. We will update the funding criteria and applicants will have to demonstrate alignment with these.
What is different about this strategy from 2011?
While much of the 2011 Arts and Culture Strategy holds true, how we think about, and experience arts and culture has changed.
What’s happening about venues? How will Council be able to make venues affordable and accessible in the time of a difficult LTP? How are you proposing to address the shortage of venues and rehearsal spaces. And addressing the cost?
As part of the draft Long Term Plan, Council proposes a $40 million investment in upgrading and earthquake strengthening existing venues, which may include making the Opera House more flexible for the needs of the audiences and sector. This in addition to an ongoing investment in the upgrade of the Town hall and St James theatre. Work is underway to make other facilities -including community spaces and places- more available for use, including as rehearsal spaces. In addition to the current venue subsidy scheme, the Draft Aho Tini 2030 Action Plan includes an action to review the venues model; to drive local creative sector development and access to venues, and the Council’s facilities network. A new Toi Pōneke Arts Centre is being scoped and will be developed in the coming years to respond to the changing and growing needs of our arts sector.
Takina; The Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre will reflect stories of Wellington and our connection with Taranaki Whānui, including via a range of large-scale digital walls internally and externally, and will feature an uplifting exhibition gallery space to showcase local and international curated shows.
Arts/creativity could be a part of lots of things in Wellington – buildings and place-making, playgrounds etc. How will the Council make sure that the art, culture and creativity are included in the other work that WCC does? And involve the artist voice?
We will explore ways to work more closely with the sector, including with a proposed Arts and Creative Sector Group who will champion the vision and explore trends, opportunities and partnerships. We will seek opportunities to pilot new ways of working; evaluating these to learn and share the learning across Council and CCOs. We welcome ideas and examples ways we can do this.
What’s happening with the Hannah Playhouse?
We are working closely with Hannah Playhouse Trust. WCC has a 44% stake in the building but ultimately the Trust makes the management decisions and on future uses for Hannah Playhouse.
What are we going to do to improve accessibility and remove barriers to Arts participation and creation?
We want to improve access to enable Arts participation and creation, including making venues more accessible and affordable for rehearsing. Building upgrades and the Civic Square Project will improve physical accessibility in key places and spaces. The Design guides and the new District Plan will be used as tools to promote accessibility. We will continue to provide free events to make arts, culture and creativity financially accessible. The Arts and Creative Sector Group will include representation for arts accessibility. We will continue to work closely with Arts Access Aotearoa to identify and remove barriers to participating and contributing to arts, culture and creativity. We will review how we communicate, implement and fund, to encourage greater accessibility and remove barriers.
How can the Council make arts more accessible to young people, especially in relation to cost of attending events/exhibitions/performances etc.
Council will build on the extensive range of events which we run and fund which are free. Council funding subsidies ticket prices across a wide range of performances and gigs across the city. Some Council funded organisations offer low cost under-25 tickets to encourage youth attendance. The City Gallery, Te Papa and Wellington Museum are all free, and these public spaces are well used by young people. The Toi Pōneke gallery is also free. Public art will have a youth focus.
Why do we deliver and support civic and community events in Wellington?
Council delivers 15 free civic events and supports a range of community festivals and events in the city to celebrate significant public holidays, such as Waitangi Day, ANZAC Day and Matariki, highlight the diverse cultures of Wellington through festivals such as Pasifika, Africa Day, Chinese New Year and Diwali, and support local communities in suburbs like Island Bay and Newtown to come together and celebrate their culture and community. Events delivered by the Council support paid work for hundreds of performers and the events sector each year and make our city a vibrant cultural capital.
How big is our budget? Is the Council providing additional funding?
Council is proposing to maintain its expenditure on arts, culture and creativity and will consider additional expenditure to implement Aho Tini 2030 through future Annual and Long Term Plans.
The draft Long Term Plan, currently being consulted on, proposes capital expenditure to complete work on the Town Hall and St James and a further investment of $40m in existing venues.
In the 2019/2020 year, approximately $21m was spent on this arts and culture and includes funding for CCOs and Council operational funding. The Arts and Culture Fund totalled $358,710 and the Decade of Culture was approximately $1m. Many other aspects of the Council’s work contributed to arts, culture and creativity including place planning and making.