Arts Council waits for nod on funding

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 11:24 29/05/2014

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A $30,000 funding boost for Arts Council Nelson looks to be on the agenda in the city council's annual plan. The arts council has been running at a deficit of $7023 and has struggled over the last few years to find extra sponsorship.

The arts council community arts manager, Lloyd Harwood and chairman, Ian Bowell appealed to the council for more finances to deliver its programmes as part of the annual plan sub missions process.

Harwood said if the council decides to go ahead with the funding boost, from $40,000 to $70,000, when it finalises its plan next month it would be a good start.

"This will be very helpful. That certainly means we are going to be here next year, which is fantastic," said Harwood.

"It's very exciting actually."

Harwood said the arts council had a great committee with lots of ideas and a funding boost would help get those into action and could be used to upgrade the art council's infrastructure - like buying a new computer.

Unless there was a dramatic change in the economic climate Harwood said he expected the arts council to remain reliant on the council for support in the coming years.

But, the organisation had applied to the Canterbury Community Trust for extra funding and expected to hear in a few weeks whether it had been successful in its bid.

Harwood said he also hoped to discuss with the Nelson council the chance to administrate the council's proposed $125,000 fund for artists.

City council staff have recommended to the council they put together a report on how best to allocate that money before councillors make any decision.

At yesterday's council deliberations on the draft annual plan submissions Mayor Rachel Reese said supporting the arts council was a great step for the city council and what it considered was important for the community.

Deputy mayor Paul Matheson said he was happy to support the funding boost as he was never disappointed with the work Harwood undertook as he often went above and beyond what was expected.

Councillor Ian Barker raised the issue of Tasman District Council supporting the arts council at a much lesser rate than the Nelson council, despite many members of the arts council residing in Tasman.

The council's acting group strategy manager Nicky McDonald confirmed that there was a distinction in the Nelson council's policy that arts funding should be for projects that serve Nelson city. The council will decide on and adopt the final annual plan on June 19.

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- The Press

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