2 September 2020
The Shire’s arts community has received a boost with Bega Valley Shire Council agreeing to continue its joint funding of the region’s main arts and culture advocacy group.
Councillors recently voted to renew its support of South East Arts, with a pledge to jointly fund the organisation until 2024.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Sharon Tapscott, said the arts and culture organisation has more than demonstrated its value to the community in difficult and uncertain times.
“Arts and culture in the Bega Valley forms a picture of who we are, how we relate to one another, and how we can get through hard times,” she said.
“While other vital services such as medicine and engineering provide the services and infrastructure necessary to live our lives, it’s the arts and a connection to culture that demonstrate why life is so precious.
“Supporting the artists, teachers, storytellers and creatives who throughout these trying times have supported their community, is necessary and rewarding.
“South East Arts has been improving creative arts outcomes and enriching cultural services in the Shire since 2001, and I am pleased we are signing a Memorandum of Understanding with other supporting councils to ensure these services continue.”
South East Arts Executive Director, Andrew Gray said the Memorandum of Understanding is vital for the continuation of artist support and cultural development in the region.
“It makes a significant difference to South East Art's strategic planning to know we have strong support from Bega Valley Shire Council.
“The next four years will be crucial for the creative industries in our region, as we emerge from the impacts of bushfires and COVID-19, and embark on cultural tourism development and the next phase of our strategic support of Aboriginal arts and culture,” he said.
Cr Tapscott said the agreement will result in South East Arts receiving funding from its supporting organisations for another four years, after which it may apply for further funding.
“Our promise is to support the Shire’s cultural development, and its creative community to the value of $25,000 per annum for service delivery including an in-kind contribution to accommodate the South East Arts office in Bega.
“Working to an understanding ensures the alignment of South East Arts services with Council’s economic and cultural priorities as indicated in our Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program,” Cr Tapscott said.
The other supporting councils to the MoU are Eurobodalla Shire Council and Snowy Monaro Regional Council.
To view the wide range of arts and cultural programs and support services provided by South East Arts, visit the website.