Riff Raff Public Arts Trust

Riff Raff Public Arts Trust

Public art under threat

Farming Family    Rototuna

LEFT: RURAL: The Farming Family on the corner of Ulster and Victoria streets. (Picture/WAIKATO TIMES)

RIGHT: URBAN: Rototuna waka sculpture.

RiffRaff   Fountain

LEFT: RIFF RAFF: The Rocky Horror character in Victoria St.

RIGHT: LIQUID: The fountain outside Hamilton City Council, Worley Place.


CLOAK: The hinuera stone and pebble cloak sculpture at the entrance to Hamilton Gardens. (Picture/ SHANE MORTON)

Source: Hamilton Press print edition


8 April 2009

SUPPORT Public Art is a group started by the Hamilton Community Arts Council to ensure Hamilton's public art continues to grow.

Hamilton City Council is taking submissions on its proposed long-term council community plan (LTCCP) 2009-2019. A number of projects have gone into the unfunded part of the plan, including funding for public art over the next 10 years.

Council says in the LTCCP that "the combined effect of the increased cost of maintaining assets, reduction in revenue from a slowing of development, and commitments to previously agreed major projects, has resulted in a number of projects being unfunded in this . . . LTCCP.

"Although these projects are still considered worthwhile to undertake, they are not of a critical enough nature to warrant including in the funded part of the budget at this point in time. Inclusion of a project in the unfunded section of Council's 2009-19 LTCCP indicates

Council's support in principle for a project, and may assist external organisations in obtaining funding support from other sources."

HCAC arts manager Tracey Wood said it would like to raise awareness of the fact there is no funding for public art planned, and invite people to make submissions requesting that public art go back into the funded portion of the plan.

"This is about acknowledging the place of public art in our city, acknowledging that public art reflects the way we see ourselves and shapes the way others see us, and that the amount of money being put forward, which is basically $1.5 million over 10 years, equates to very little per year," said Ms Wood.

She said public art is "the soul of our city" and if Hamilton gets too far behind in funding public art, it will never catch up. "As a city we don't have a lot of public art, and if we sideline that for the next 10 years, we will put ourselves so far behind that to redress that balance will never happen."

Ms Wood says that money is basically seed funding that will be supported by volunteer hours and other community groups. The core funding can get projects off the ground and bring other funders on board.

Public art can come in many different forms, said Ms Wood. It is not just bronze statues, but anything from murals and mosaics to designed park benches. "If this is something you feel strongly about, make a submission because your voice does count."

The LTCCP indicates that including public art in the funded projects would raise the proposed average rate increase in 2009-2010 from 4.98 to 5 percent, and add about 0.02 percent to rate increases each subsequent year.

To make a submission on public art funding, go to www.HCAC.org.nz for information or phone 838-6424. Hamilton City Council website hamilton.co.nz has general information about making submissions.

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