Where we embrace, celebrate and support the arts
Paint New West Beautiful is a community-building public art project that I created with Nadine Nakagawa. With the assistance of a local artist, the community paints a mural on a wall, building, or fence. In preparation for my fourth year of Paint New West Beautiful, I am reminded of the joy of being a part of an artistic, innovative and inclusive community. Though I have never considered myself particularly artistic I have always appreciated the vital role of art and creativity in a community.
I have spent the last four years gaining a greater understanding of what "the Arts" means to our City. I have learned who the engaged community members and organizations are, what the community wants, what’s currently working and what’s not. Most importantly I have heard from artists themselves how the City can contribute to our local arts community's success and provide citizens with access to the many benefits. The sheer number of artists and artist workers that call New Westminster their home is incredible. That talent, knowledge, experience and history should not be undervalued or dismissed. It is my intention to further develop relationships with these local organizations, artists and local providers.
It is as a collaborative and strategic partner to the local arts community that I would like the City to continue its commitment of investment in the arts in New Westminster. The five themes I’ve been working on and would like to advance include:
1. Develop Community Arts Hubs
- Anvil Centre; Provide access to the 4th floor for arts organizations to program and develop artistic projects
- Increase access to the Community Arts Space gallery in the Anvil theatre lobby
- Support community and professional programming in the Anvil Theatre to develop local theatre activity and performance opportunities
- Work with Queensborough Community Centre to increase arts partnerships
- Discover increased opportunities for arts community space at Massey Theatre
2. Create an "Experience OUR Arts Week"
- Free arts programs for residents
- Showcase local artists and public opportunities in City venues
- Partner with the School District to bring Arts Week to our schools (with local and visiting artists, authors and performance programming)
3. Sponsor an Arts Communication Tool
- Support a community partner in creating an Arts & Event calendar. A tool that can be used by arts partners to easily communicate their events to the community
4. Investigate Public Space in relation to the Arts
- Revisit policy and by-laws that may be restricting artistic endeavours in our community such as busking or community arts programming
- Increase community mural and public art opportunities
- Work with local Indigenous communities and its citizens to showcase their artistic forms and include artistic expression in our reconciliation efforts
And finally (and most importantly)
5. Leverage and partner with our local arts organizations
- Further extend the City’s granting program to create long-standing and reliable funding to contribute to sustainability and development
- Liaise with the City’s local arts partners, and organizations to incorporate their knowledge, expertise and skills when creating policy related to the Arts
- Annually review our Arts Strategy with the Arts to measure our success and ensure we are advancing in alignment with the community
The Arts Community in New Westminster has so much to give us, the citizens. It is important for the health, vibrancy and imagination of our children that they grow up in a community where art is abundant, accessible and inclusive. Artistic endeavours are important to all of us and should be reflected in our policies and support.
I trust and appreciate the depth of knowledge available in our community regarding the arts. And I will strengthen my efforts to ensure the City is listening, learning and investing in opportunities for artists and not for profit arts organization to grow and develop toward their continued success in providing arts to the community.
Candidate for City Council