28 August 2020

If Back to Singleton 2020 is an opportunity to commemorate the rich culture and heritage of our area then the momentum is well and truly continuing with Council’s draft Arts and Culture Policy, which is on public exhibition now.

More than an outline for the vision and principles to guide the provision of arts and cultural development services, programs and infrastructure across the Singleton LGA, this is a reinforcement of our commitment to the arts, cultural development, heritage and cultural tourism and an important first step to formalising and recognising Singleton’s identity.

The draft policy will lay the foundation and direction for Council’s Arts and Culture Strategy 2020-2030, which is currently in development, and the arrival of the Arts and Cultural Centre to be constructed in what will become the visitor, arts and cultural precinct in Singleton’s Townhead Park.

Our vision is ambitious: to make the Singleton LGA the centre of the arts in the Hunter region. And with a carefully considered and aligned Arts and Cultural Policy and Arts and Culture Strategy in place, combined with the skill and expertise of some very clever staff and input from across our community, we’re in no doubt that we can achieve it.

The draft Policy itself confirms the “central role of arts and culture in the livability and life of the Singleton Local Government Area including the community’s economic success and social health and wellbeing”.

It recognises that Singleton is traditional Wonnarua, Wanaruah land where the culture of all people is recognised, acknowledged and respected.

Moreover, it calls for a whole of community involvement “in helping to create the circumstances where arts and cultural development can flourish” with a requirement for the support and leadership of the local community: “The successful implementation of the Arts and Culture Policy will rely on a partnership between Council and community interests.”

The community’s wish for a centre for the arts and culture for our LGA is long documented over decades and finally, with thanks to a $2,787,000 contribution from the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund, the $4.08million project is poised to become a reality.

But a building alone doesn’t deliver an arts and culture centre. Having a vision, the framework and the expertise to create an environment where people can come together to participate in quality arts and cultural programs for the enrichment of their own lives as individuals, as well as the social and cultural wellbeing of the collective, helps to define an identity for Singleton that we can all be proud of.

I encourage everyone to view the draft Arts and Cultural Policy before the exhibition period ends on 20 September 2020 and provide any feedback you have. The document is available for viewing on Council’s website, or in hard copy at the Administration Building, Singleton Library and Visitor Information Centre.

Cr Sue Moore
Mayor of Singleton