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Council’s new arts focus is en pointe

The inaugural Creators of Ipswich Summit is underway as the Ipswich arts community comes together to set a strategy and explore what council and creators can do collaboratively to strengthen the arts community and creative economy.

Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin and author of Mao’s Last Dancer is the key note speaker.

Mr Cunxin recently told a news agency, that in the early days of the pandemic he took a huge risk by deciding to move the Queensland Ballet’s entire season to 2021, providing much needed certainty.

Now, he wants to steer the broader arts industry through the crisis.

“We do want to engage with our community because we do believe arts will play such a vital part of helping people emerge from this pandemic,” Mr Cunxin said

“The arts is inspirational, it does lift up people’s spirits and give people hope.

“But there’s no doubt: The road ahead I see, for the next two years at least, is going to be very, very challenging.”

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding will also address the summit with a focus on council’s commitment to engaging with the creative community and key stakeholders and building relationships across the sector as she pledged to her 100 Day Plan.

“As a forward-thinking council we are here to advocate, promote and facilitate collaborations between elected officials, council officers and our communities to realise visions bigger than those any one of us could achieve on their own,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council has received 120 applications for the appointment of a new arts position – a Creative Arts Development Officer – a new position created under direction of this council.

“The new Creative Arts Development Officer’s principal role will be to facilitate and coordinate the activities that will make the most impact in nurturing our arts community and creative economy.”

Mayor Harding will also launch the Ipswich Art Awards for 2021 opening for submissions from 1 December.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary local talent we have,” Mayor Harding said.

Dr Ashley Jones from the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Creative Arts
and Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding

Dr Ashley Jones from the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Creative Arts will present and analyse the information gathered from the Creators of Ipswich Survey 2020 at the summit.

Dr Jones conducted surveys with local creators and stakeholders to shape the conversations around what is most important to the Ipswich creative community.

“This is the first of many conversations that will take place over coming months, and years, as my council works with the creators of Ipswich, to deliver on the city’s Arts and Cultural Strategy and Ipswich as a leading creative community in Queensland,” Mayor Harding said.

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