Arts Centre launches vision for future of site

19 August 2013

The Arts Centre has publicly released its draft vision today, to enable the Christchurch community to have their say on the kinds of arts, culture, and education activities they would like to see on the site in the future.

While restoration work has been underway on the Arts Centre’s unique heritage buildings, the organisation has also been consulting with stakeholders and a wide range of experts to assist with planning the best uses of the buildings and spaces within the site.

“Although the Arts Centre is currently closed to the public we are working to progressively re-open the site,” says Arts Centre chief executive, André Lovatt. “The release of the vision is an important milestone in our planning to bring our community back to the Arts Centre.

“The vision creates a new opportunity for the community to share in our progress, be part of events and activities, and help shape our future.”

Members of the public have been asked to rank their preferred future uses of the site. The vision outlines ten anchor uses – which contribute to the promotion and development of the arts, culture and education in Christchurch – including a co-working hub for the creative industries, Arts Centre academy, art house cinema, children’s activities, and an education and outreach centre.

A range of eight complementary uses – which support activities accessible to a diverse range of people, and would be financially viable in their own right – include retail and hospitality venues, hire spaces, The Arts Centre Shop, and an Ideas Den bookstore, library or reading room, which offers the opportunity to host book launches and promote new written works.

The vision also draws inspiration from a wide range of international arts, culture and education facilities, including the JamFactory in Adelaide, which operates as a hub for craft and design, and the Southbank Cultural Centre in the UK.

“We are really excited to get the public’s perspective on the vision,” says André Lovatt. “This is an opportunity to talk, listen and test aspects of the vision with our community, so we can ensure the Arts Centre is relevant and engaging for future generations to enjoy.

“This is a rare opportunity to re-imagine the Arts Centre – celebrating the best of what we had before and introducing new ideas for the future to create a vibrant hub of culture, arts and education.

“Our vision for the Arts Centre is to become a cornerstone creative institution that responds to the needs of Cantabrians first and foremost.”

For more information on the Arts Centre vision and to contribute to the discussion, visit www.artscentre.org.nz, or pick up a copy of the vision guide at the Arts Centre, your local library or venues around town.