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It's all positive at Arts Council ideas forum

October 14th, 2011

Arts Council organisers and Our Town Motueka were very pleased with the outcomes of a community brainstorming meeting held on Wednesday for ideas on new and improved art-related events in Motueka.

Almost 20 people turned up to the meeting - fewer than initially hoped for considering the advertising, but in the end a good number as they were all prepared to contribute and brought plenty of enthusiasm and ideas, said Motueka Arts Council chairwoman Shirley Frater. "We wanted ideas, not how to do it. We just wanted to examine possibilities and innovations that were feasible, that could be achieved by small groups or by the council in partnership with other community groups," she said.

"Some were way out, some were endorsements of what we have already been doing, and some reflected the particular interests that some people have in arts. Some could be done relatively easily, some would take a while to plan and budget and need several groups working together."

Shirley said there were "screeds of paper" generated, and while there was some overlap people were open minded. The key was that there were "no knockers, no negative people". She said the way the meeting was structured and facilitated by Brent Maru meant that ideas were accepted and listed without people putting them down, no matter how difficult they may be to do.

She noted the importance of networking between community groups, because some potential events would require the combined efforts of groups in providing funding and developing advertising.

Our Town Motueka manager, Jacqui Taylor, was very enthusiastic about the meeting. She said the meeting, held at the Community House, was attended by small but enthusiastic number of people. "Several represented local organisations who have a history and experience of delivering successful events for the local community. A few enthusiastic individuals attended and also contributed great ideas.

"Most in the group had a history of 'volunteerism', working with tight budgets, and have a genuine desire to see our community flourish and be enjoyed by all," Jacqui said. "The meeting was publicly advertised, but noticeably absent were a few of the regular critics whose ideas and offers to help would have been welcomed.

"Well done to all those who attended - who demonstrated a positive creative approach and a willingness to share and help."

Shirley said the Arts Council are preparing a more formal list of ideas generated which soon will be available to people who attended and to Motueka Online to publish, and we look forward to that with interest.

To give one example of an innovative idea that came forward was to stage art-related events related to "air" in conjunction with the annual 'Good Vibes' parachuting week in August. Others centred on art incorporated into our developing walkways and cycle tracks.


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