A Cultural Strategy for Launceston
Five key strategic directions underpin the Cultural Strategy for the City of Launceston over the next decade. The strategy is designed to lay out a path forward for Launceston to maximise its unique cultural opportunities, and to identify what strengths and weaknesses we have in this space. It is extremely important that Launceston has a cultural strategy in place. This strategy will enable the Council to act consciously and with greater purpose in the cultural policy area – acknowledging its importance alongside economic, social and environmental policy areas.
The Cultural Strategy has five clear strategic directions for the Council:
- To respect Aboriginal Culture
- To realise the potential of our cultural places and assets
- To foster creative practices
- Reveal our cultural stories, and
- Build and extend partnerships
To help build a picture of what our community saw as culture, the City of Launceston undertook an initial community and stakeholder survey in December 2018. The results reveal a sophisticated understanding of the complexities of culture and emphasize the high value which the community of Launceston places on cultural activities.
Council used those survey results as a key contributor to the development of the draft Cultural Strategy, weaving them together with the threads that have been laid out by a number of reports and consultations since 2016, including:
- The 2016 Cultural Audit
- The Robyn Archer report - 'Towards a cultural strategy for Launceston'
- The Hirst Projects feasibility study
Council has been meeting with cultural organisations and leaders since early July 2019, discussing a proposed framework for the strategy.
The draft strategy was informed by a body of work undertaken in 2017 by Robin Archer AO - Towards A Cultural Strategy for Launceston(PDF, 2MB). That document evolved from interviews with Launceston, Tasmanian and national members of the arts and culture community, as well as from Ms Archer's extensive experience in and understanding of arts and culture. In her document, Archer makes a number of recommendations - many of which have been addressed previously and through the draft cultural strategy. Of most note in the report was the proposal to bring the QVMAG back to one site. Following that recommendation, the City of Launceston commissioned a business case, which effectively ruled out moving from a two-site model back to a single site based on the significant economic impact of such a proposal.
The delivery of the Cultural Strategy is a Launceston City Deal initiative and supported by the State and Federal governments.