Artists' space could hinge on council funding
Plans to set up a temporary central Christchurch precinct for artists displaced by the earthquakes could hinge on the city council meeting a shortfall in running costs.
About 100 Christchurch artists lost showrooms and work spaces in the February 2011 quake and have been struggling to make a living.
To help counter the loss of space and to retain creative people in the city, the Christ church Polytechnic Institute of Technology and F3 Design plan to build mobile, modular, steel-framed structures called art boxes that can be used as studio, retail and exhibition spaces.
They want to put up the boxes on a St Asaph St site opposite the polytechnic and have raised $525,000 towards the cost of making them, but they need $30,000 for the first year's operating costs.
Council strategic arts adviser Eve Barlow, in a report prepared for yesterday's community recreation and culture committee meeting, said that as the aim of the project was to provide space for artists at affordable rates, the CPIT was seeking to recover only a portion of the total operating expenses from the tenants.
The polytechnic had approached Creative New Zealand to see if it could cover the $30,000 shortfall in operating costs but it was unable to help this year, although it had agreed to provide $15,000 a year over the next four years.
The polytechnic was now asking the council for the money and a commitment to contribute the other $15,000 needed yearly to meet the boxes' running costs over the next four years.
Committee chairman Cr Yani Johanson said he supported the council contributing money towards the project as it was providing much-needed accommodation for the city's creative community.
"It will be a well-used facility and the sooner we get it up and running the better."
The committee voted to provide the $30,000 requested, but its decision still has to be ratified by the full council.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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