Public and community art earmarked for 40% funding cut

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Funding for public and community art is set to drop 40 percent if a council proposal in the draft Long Term Plan comes to fruition.

Currently funding for public and community art is set at $125,000 but the Long Term Plan proposal will see this drop to $75,000.

The council are suggesting community projects utilise match funding in order to make up any extra funding required for works.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says the long term plan aims to mix up where funding goes with new initiatives involving Light Nelson, Nelson Arts Festival and the Refinery Art Space factored into the plan.

“Our ten year Plan has a careful and targeted investment in events and the arts to support and build on our creative credentials. Changes to our much-loved Arts Festival to refresh it and grow it to a new level are set out. There is secure funding to develop Light Nelson as a key part of our cultural calendar and identity, and support for Arts Council Nelson to develop the Refinery as a community art space.”

As part of the investment $150,000 plus inflation is earmarked for a biennial Light Nelson event.

“Light Nelson Trust has approached us to work in partnership to help them to establish this event every two years. This funding certainty and partnership will help the trust secure funding from other sources to support the event,” says Mayor Reese.

Initialy total funding for the Nelson Arts festival is set to stay the same but it is suggested that an independent governance structure is put in place in 2017 with funding reviews in place.

Council are proposing to alternate the festival, focusing on international content one year and adding a local flavour the next.

A three million dollar redevelopment grant has also been proposed for the Nelson School of music provided that the trust that overlooks the school can raise an equal amount from other sources through match funding.

Mayor Reece says council recognises that the School is a key piece of the city’s arts infrastructure as a music performance venue and a significant heritage building with a world class auditorium.

$30,000 has also been set aside in the plan for the refinery Art Space which will be managed by the Arts Council on a trail basis.

The Refinery has previously supported local emerging artists by providing a space for community art exhibitions and highlighting Nelson’s wealth of artistic talent.

Submissions can still be made on the Consultation Document online at, emailed, posted to Nelson City Council PO Box 645, Freepost 76919 Nelson, or hand delivered to Civic House. Submissions must be received no later than 12pm, Tuesday 28 April 2015.

Full copies of the Consultation Document and supporting information are available from Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street Nelson, at all Nelson Public Libraries.