Ipswich City Council has put its support behind an innovative proposal for what is believed to be Australia’s first standalone Children’s Art Gallery, forecast to add 95,000 visits a year to Ipswich’s revitalised CBD.
Council on Thursday approved the pursuit of funding for a dedicated Children’s Art Gallery as part of the redeveloped Nicholas Street Precinct.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said council was eager to build on the overwhelming success of its Ipswich Children’s Library, catering for the city’s young and growing population.
“Ipswich is Queensland’s fastest growing city, and this is fuelled by young families looking for affordability and liveability. We saw an opportunity to build Australia’s first standalone children’s library and it has become a huge hit with residents and visitors,” Mayor Harding said.
“We are continuing to shape the cultural heart of our city, and we believe a dedicated children’s art gallery would be a popular addition. It is our understanding that nothing quite like this exists anywhere else in the nation.
“We want to build an Ipswich that provides not only jobs and opportunities, but access to entertainment, the arts and sports. We want to create a modern city where people can work, play and have pride in where they live.”
Mayor Harding said Ipswich had hit several milestones in recent times by growing its Gross Regional Product past $12 billion, attracting more than 2 million visitors per annum and recently welcoming its 250,000th resident.
“A new children’s art gallery would continue the evolution of our new CBD as a place our families will want to meet. The decisions we make now will result in a better quality of life for our next generation of residents.
“This is an exciting proposition for Ipswich and one that will elevate visitation to our CBD and attract interest in our city, but we can’t do it along. The next step will be seeking the financial support of our government partners as well as philanthropic and commercial investment.”
Junior Curators: Mysterious Realms opened on Saturday 25 November and ran until 28 January 2024. This popular exhibition was curated by young Ipswich locals. (Photo by Thomas Oliver www.thomasoliver.photo)
An artist’s impression of a proposed Ipswich Children’s Art Gallery, thought to be the first of its kind in Australia.
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said a standalone Children’s Art Gallery would be an exciting addition to Ipswich’s cultural heart and the continuing revitalisation of Ipswich Central.
“Significant work is already underway to enhance the capacity of Ipswich Central cultural assets such as the Nicholas Street Precinct and the Ipswich Civic Centre and to improve connectivity between these assets, Top of Town and the wider CBD,” Cr Doyle said.
“The importance of our cultural heart as an essential social and economic driver has been repeatedly highlighted by stakeholders and contributors including the Office of The Queensland Government Architect, Bull & Bear Economics, and the Ipswich Central Partnership.
“We will now explore creating a unique new venue that perfectly complements our existing cultural assets and which promises to draw tens of thousands of more visitors to our city each year to enjoy, eat, explore and spend.
“A new standalone Children’s Art Gallery would be fantastic for kids, families, local businesses and our city.”
The council report highlighted that the option to relocate current children’s programming into a dedicated children’s art gallery has the potential to increase attendance by a net total 95,000 visits per annum (175,000 total visits across Ipswich Art Gallery and Children’s Art Gallery).
The report also highlighted that children’s programming is oversubscribed and the current available spaces cannot expand or facilitate any additional programming.