Linda Mathieson

August 27, 2014

Local communities are rich in history, culture and arts and local councils are actively involved in supporting cultural and artistic growth within local communities in an effort to improve social cohesion.

Arts and culture can be promoted within communities through cultural activities and events, library and gallery exhibitions and public art displayed in local parks and gardens. This leads to a growing sense of community and pride within local areas.

In 2004 The Australian Expert Group in Industry Studies (AEGIS) carried out a study on ‘Social Impacts of Participation in the Arts and Cultural Activities. This came about due to increasing focus on how community participation in arts and cultural activities intersect with areas of public concern such as education, crime prevention, community identity and development.

The study claims that some of the community benefits of locals participating in arts and cultural programs include:

  • Increased employment rates
  • Reduced levels of crime
  • Public art with a sense of public ownership
  • Improved social cohesion and community
  • Development of a community identity
  • Improved understanding of different cultures

Encouraging the local community to participate and identify with local culture and arts is an ongoing task. Creating visibility and accessibility is key to educating and encouraging people to embrace, experience and identify with the local culture. The end result is a growing sense of community pride and belonging.

Local councils are looking for new, versatile and innovative ways to relay the area’s history and display local and cultural artworks.

The City of Canada Bay has developed a place based approach to Public Arts and Cultural Development by creating meaningful installations and activities in a range of localities such as:

  • Liwi’s Place Mural at Timbrel Park, Five Dock
  • Public art work at Fred Kelly Place, Five dock to celebrate Aeolian Migration
  • Development of the Rainbow Serpent, a sculptural piece on the Bay Run
  • An artistic visual rundown of the area’s history on the panels of a Public aquafil™ Water Refill Station and Drinking Fountain

Arrow Alpha’s aquafil Water Refill Stations and Drinking Fountains are a great tool in promoting Arts and Cultural awareness within local communities.  They have highly visible modular panels that are versatile and have ample space for art work, storytelling, branding and promotional messaging. The aquafil units enable local art, history and culture to be taken outside and put on display for locals who would never normally visit the local library or art
gallery whilst offering them fresh drinking water at the same time.

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