Celebrating our local governments

Filed : Advocacy, Local and industry news .

It’s local government week across NSW. We’re taking a moment to celebrate the 11 local councils of our service area and their role in arts and culture.

Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, and Weddin.

These 11 LGAs contribute not only financially to the Arts OutWest program on your behalf but feed directly into our strategic planning through representation on our Advisory Council (along with another key partner, Charles Sturt University). We in turn support arts and cultural development across this region.

Parkes Elvis Festival inducted into the Hall of Fame at the regional tourism awards, July 27 2019.

Local government responsibilities have long extended beyond ‘roads, rates, rubbish’.

Councils are key provider of arts and culture in NSW, contributing one third of the total investment in arts and culture in the state.

There has been an expectation for many years now that councils have active cultural policies within their overall strategic planning and that supporting the arts and cultural activity of their communities is of value.  Indeed our work at Arts OutWest so often dovetails into the cultural plans of LGAs and is able to support these local activities with our expert knowledge, advice and contacts, on projects, with funding support and more.

Local governments, in the NSW model, are typically the bodies responsible for building and running cultural facilities – theatres, museums, regional galleries, cultural sites, libraries, and the ongoing programs that happen in these facilities; they often run or support festivals and events; and have a key role in applying for funding for projects and infrastructure. Many of our councils employ a range of dedicated cultural staff; others have talented, incredibly hard working staff who cover these areas along with their other tasks – an especially big salute to these council staff, we love working with you.

The cultural policies and strategies councils adopt can embed activity in a community that in turn drives the local creative economy, attracts more funding, builds audiences for facilities  and events. Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott this week said:

“While arts and cultural programs will always provide social activity and enrichment, they also deliver very real economic value to communities, as well build a strong sense of identity and cohesion.”

And being local government week, here’s three examples – just from this week – of excellence by local governments in our region in terms of arts and culture:

  • Cowra Council are a key partner and have been vital in the Cowra Voices project to be launched this weekend.
  • Bathurst Regional Council is in the running for the coveted Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award for NSW councils (winner announced in Sydney on August 1).
  • Parkes Elvis Festival (Parkes Shire Council) were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the recent regional tourism awards (July 27).  Parkes Shire Council have also just started work on a complete reinvention of the library precinct to deliver a new dynamic art, cultural and education space. 

We’re always celebrating the arts and cultural work of our local councils – follow us on Facebook for more


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