The role of government agencies in regeneration

25 Jan 2007

Arts agencies do see a role for themselves in the rejuvenation process. With good reason. The impact of the arts can be far-reaching - where governments tend to focus on infrastructure issues, the arts are more concerned about how people in communities connect - or, in some cases, why they fail to connect. We aim to do something about that, by promoting social cohesion and reconciliation; as a window onto deep-seated problems and how communities can start to resolve them; in boosting economies; and especially, and critically, in helping sustain local and regional identity. For the past decade, the Australia Council has worked closely with the Australian Local Government Association, promoting community arts and cultural development as a core function of local government. That dialogue is critical in determining the issues we are dealing with, in getting the disenfranchised involved, animating democracy, helping to create new identities from people and cultures who have come in from elsewhere - often from the other side of the planet.

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