Performing arts, festivals, theatres, museums and libraries in Stroud are being evaluated as part of a new strategy to ensure they are improving the lives of all members of the community.
Two consultants have been brought in by Stroud Town Council to develop a cultural strategy for the town – and they are inviting the public to give their views at a series of workshops.
The aim is to ensure that the contribution made by Stroud’s arts and cultural offerings is both valued and adequately supported.
Kim Cowan, project officer at the council, said: “Consultants Sue Kay and Mary Schwarz are hosting these workshops to bring together people who have a passionate interest in the future of the arts to share aspirations and ideas for action.
“While arts and cultural activity in the town is widely appreciated and enjoyed, the council is keen to see its contribution to social, community and economic development as well as cultural life is fully valued and supported into the future.”
Alongside an audit of cultural and community spaces, the consultants will review local, district and countywide plans and national evidence on the benefits of culture.
It will include consulting a range of people who are linked with creative industries, either in employment or as volunteers, about their experience and opinions and appraising opportunities for collaboration and development. From there a 10-year strategy will be developed, including an initial action plan.
Among the council’s objectives are removing barriers and promoting participation in cultural activity throughout all sections of the community, ensuring the cultural sector is sustainable, improving resilience by developing its partnerships, and developing a co-ordinated approach to planning cultural provision.
Ms Cowan said the council is committed to supporting art and culture and offering grants of up to £5,000 and the consultation offered an opportunity for people to feed into the strategic process and inform decisions about future funding.
She added: “The public’s knowledge, views and expertise will be very valuable to this exercise and we do hope people with an interest in the arts and culture will be able to attend one of the workshops.”
The two-hour workshops take place at four venues in Stroud from Monday December 4 to Wednesday December 6. Details of these can be found here. Anyone can take part or be interviewed individually. For details, email Kim Cowan or call 01453 762817.