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GENERATIONS: A NEW APPROACH TO COMMUNITY BUILDING

The Australia Council for the Arts will invest $780,000 over the next three years in an arts-led initiative to improve community wellbeing in Dalrymple (QLD), Geelong (VIC), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Liverpool (NSW) and Wangaratta (VIC).

The Generations program is an initiative of the Victorian Cultural Development Network in partnership with five local councils in three states. Its aim is sustainable community and civic engagement through the arts and cultural activities.

Australia Council for the Arts CEO Jennifer Bott said Generations was an example of the Australia Council’s whole-of-government approach to supporting community arts and cultural activities as a way of increasing community wellbeing.

‘Generations will foster community engagement through the arts and build effective partnerships with the community sector and other spheres of government, especially at the local level.

‘The insight we gain from this important investment in community building will help shape future public policy in the arts, local government and community engagement; it will have a profound impact on the future of the arts in Australia,’ Ms Bott said.

The five projects in the Generations program are:

Dalrymple Shire (QLD): Connecting Through Three Generations of Time will use arts and cultural activities to bring together landholders and non-landholders from the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in order to address a range of local social and economic issues.

City of Greater Geelong (VIC): Geelong Trilogy: Identities will celebrate the municipality’s diverse communities: rural, suburban, and industrial and the now sophisticated and urbane city centre.  Residents will be encouraged to embrace and celebrate this diversity by exploring the city’s past and future through a mix of storytelling, exhibitions, public art, music and other activities.

Latrobe City (VIC): Green Expectations will use arts and cultural activities to engage the community  with the city’s Latrobe 2021 plan. The strategy will include a greenhouse, revegetation and community engagement action plan.

City of Liverpool (NSW): Refill is a mentoring project targeting at risk and disadvantaged youth in the suburb of Miller that will guide participants toward careers in the music industry and create other work/life opportunities.

Rural City of Wangaratta (VIC): Still life will engage people in the Rural City of Wangaratta in the development of a series of performance artworks.  It will challenge current perceptions of residents and non-residents that the city’s ageing population impacts negatively on the community’s profile and as a result its social and economic growth.

The Victorian Cultural Development Network will coordinate delivery of the Generations program, set to commence in August 2006, ensuring coordinated planning between the local councils, arts agencies and the project research team.

Media enquires: Carla Viola, Communication Officer on (02) 9215 9053 or 0434 310 211 or c.viola@ozco.gov.au

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