A big thank you to the team at Progressive Port Phillip for organising tonights meeting regarding concerns around the defunding of arts & culture in our great City of Port Phillip.
Passionate people always inspire and having the opportunity to listen to Jon Hawkes the author of the much-acclaimed book ‘The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability’ was thought-provoking.
So what was the takeaway from the meeting? here goes…
In our pursuit of a thriving and prosperous community, it is essential to recognise and embrace the profound value that arts and entertainment bring to our lives. Beyond the realms of economic return, the arts hold the power to shape our culture, unite our diverse voices, and foster a sense of belonging that transcends boundaries. They are the vibrant thread that weaves together our shared experiences, enriching our lives and invigorating our community.
When we venture beyond the narrow confines of purely financial gains and consider the wider impact of the arts, a world of possibilities unfolds. The economic benefits, though significant, only scratch the surface of what the arts truly offer. Yes, cultural events and creative institutions attract visitors, fuel tourism, and boost local businesses. They inject life into our streets, create employment opportunities, and generate revenue that helps sustain the functioning of our local government. But the value of the arts stretches far beyond these tangible gains.
Consider the intangible riches that lie within the arts; the preservation and celebration of our cultural heritage. Through music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and crafts, we safeguard the traditions and wisdom of our ancestors, passing down their stories from generation to generation. The arts become a living tapestry, woven with the threads of our past, present, and future. They provide us with a mirror that reflects our collective identity, instilling pride, and helping us understand the diverse perspectives that shape our community.
The arts are also a powerful catalyst for social cohesion, uniting us across backgrounds, beliefs, and boundaries. They create spaces for dialogue, where differences can be celebrated and bridges can be built. In museums, galleries, and performance venues, we encounter new ideas, challenging our assumptions and fostering empathy. The arts ignite our imaginations, enabling us to see the world through the eyes of others, forging bonds that transcend division, and nurturing a sense of unity that resonates at the core of our community.
Let us not overlook the invaluable impact of the arts on personal well-being and the overall quality of life. Engaging with artistic expressions and cultural experiences enriches our souls, providing a respite from the challenges of everyday life. The arts encourage introspection, inspire creative thinking, and nurture our emotional well-being. They become a sanctuary for self-expression, where we find solace, inspiration, and the courage to pursue our own creative journeys.
Beyond the individual, the arts hold the power to shape the fabric of our community. A vibrant arts and entertainment scene creates an atmosphere that attracts residents, businesses, and investments. It stimulates the entrepreneurial spirit, giving rise to creative industries and startups that drive economic diversification and job creation. It positions our community as a dynamic destination, drawing visitors from far and wide who contribute to the local economy, invigorating our streets, and filling our hearts with the joy of shared experiences.
Embrace the arts and entertainment as the fourth pillar of sustainability, standing alongside the environment, economy, and society. Let us recognise their inherent value, not just in economic terms, but as the lifeblood of our culture, the bridge that connects us, and the source of inspiration that ignites our souls. By investing in the arts, we invest in ourselves, in our shared humanity, and in the future, we envision; a future where the arts thrive, cultural heritage is preserved, and our community flourish in its vibrant and diverse tapestry of creativity. Together, let us nurture and celebrate the transformative power of the arts, shaping a community that transcends boundaries and embraces the beauty of our collective human spirit.
Would you want to cut a budget that causes such profound change in so many lives?