HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Mapping Arts and Culture in Polynesia
Between the 10-15 April, the Ministry of Culture was pleased to host visiting Pacific Outreach Cordinator for Polynesia, Allan Alo from the USP Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies.
At a Public Community Arts Consultation on Thursday 12th April, Alo provided an overview of the Arts Sector in Fiji and Samoa, as well as contributing some very helpful recommendations on how the Cook Islands Arts & Education sector can advance progressively and successfully. This he said we can achieve effectively through identifying priorities, supported by strategic planning.
Some of the significant points raised in the meeting was the importance of research and mapping within the arts sector, establishing and strengthening linkages with other sectors, and considerations in the development of an Arts Council. Having recently co-ordinated a successful Community Consultation Workshop in Samoa, Alo advised that the success of the workshop was identifying three key priorities in the industry, firstly “Government Support”, followed by “Education and Training”, and lastly “Collaboration and Establishment”.
Alo emphasized the need and “importance of a planned systematic approach to capacity building in arts and culture, in order to strengthen and further grow the cultural and creative industries, within the wider cultural economy framework”. He highlighted that “proper monitoring and evaluation systems need to be established and administered with appropriate expertise to ensure that the development process is efficient, effective, relevant and sustainable”.
In response to a community initiative to form an arts council he recommended careful planning and consultation, and that “participation works best when people feel that they can make a difference, when they have the time to fully engage with the issues, and where there is a healthy relationship of mutual respect. It works worst when it is rushed, ill-informed and vague about the links to formal decision-making or when it allows the loudest voice to dominate”.
As the presentation covered both arts and education, Alo touched on the challenges of utilizing “Traditional Expertise and Art Professionals” in the teaching of the arts. He stated that “there is a very small pool of art specialists who are well rounded and knowledgeable in both the vernacular and traditional know how to teach and transmit the usefulness of arts development in the region”.
Among a turnout of 15-20 local artists, Alo concluded his presentation with the analogy of “Building a Fale”, highlighting the steps and planning involved in developing and establishing the Arts Sector. He says, “there is a negotiation process involved in this crucial part of creation - the dissemination of knowledge and resources for the good of the people”. -Mahiriki Tangaroa

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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