A Cultural Strategy for Launceston
At its ordinary council meeting on Thursday, March 6, the City of Launceston voted to release the draft of its Cultural Strategy for community consultation.
Five key strategic directions were identified to underpin the Cultural Strategy 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.
Even without direct intent, the City of Launceston Council already operates in the cultural realm. Its planning decisions, where it directs its resources, almost every decision it makes has an impact on the culture of the City.
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 draft Cultural Strategy laid out 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
The Council wants Launceston to be a culturally vibrant community which is an attractive place to establish and grow businesses and to ensure we have events and activities year round.
Video: Developing Launceston's Cultural Strategy
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.
This includes the integration of recent work by the Cultural Development Network (CDN) which establishes a cultural planning framework and a set of cultural outcomes which will drive the implementation of the strategy.
The CDN's cultural outcomes can be viewed here
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.
Have your say
The draft City of Launceston Cultural Strategy is now online and a community survey has been published on the Council's Your Voice Your Launceston website here.
The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and we would love feedback on the draft as we move closer to its final adoption. Submissions will close on April 8, 2020.