I’m delighted to present to you our new Arts and Culture Plan. It sets out a vision for encouraging a rich, inclusive and vibrant culture on the Mornington Peninsula. Through this Plan, we will strengthen the capacity of our community and create an environment in which the arts flourish.
The importance of this task cannot be overstated. Arts and culture help connect us to each other and expand our understanding of the world around us. Through arts and culture we are brought closer together, regardless of background, income, age or ability. A strong and resilient community is one in which creativity is actively encouraged and supported.
I’m particularly pleased that the Plan includes actions to promote and support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s stories, heritage and history, as well as initiatives that advocate for the protection of our natural environment through creative and cultural activities.
I’m also delighted that we will be prioritising the development of a Western Port Sound Shell on the Hastings Foreshore, as well as investigating options for the development of creative precincts and new local history initiatives for the Peninsula.
Arts and culture are a significant contributor to our local economy. More than 923 local businesses and non-profit organisations are active in the creative and cultural industries and engage more than 3.4% of the region’s workforce. As well as serving our residents, they help attract more than 7 million domestic and international visitors to the region each year.
Underpinning all of the actions and goals in this Plan is a fundamental principle: great art and culture should be for everyone. We want to break down existing barriers so that every resident can enjoy the life-affirming experiences that arts and culture can provide. I look forward to working with you to ensure the goals of this Arts and Culture Plan are fully realised.
Councillor Sam Hearn
Mornington Peninsula Shire