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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
Green pattern.

Strategic Theme 1: Identity Pride

Dunedin’s identity and personality is, in part, expressed through arts, culture and creativity. Arts and culture in its myriad forms celebrate the city’s character, diversity and individuality, and are key elements in building a sense of unity and community pride. Dunedin – the environment, people and history – inspires many to artistic expression and creative thinking, both those who call the city home and those that come from afar on a quest for the unique and the beautiful.

Stand Up, Stand Out -

Be confident in Dunedin’s distinct culture and creative thinking

Dunedin has a distinctive cultural community, physical environment and history. Everything that has gone before infuses how Dunedin moves forward, inspiring the creative thinking and artistic expression of Dunedin people. There is a growing confidence in what is singularly ‘Dunedin’ and there exists a freedom to explore identities, ideas and the future. This strategy recognises the value of bolstering self-awareness through arts and culture, encouraging those who live in and visit the city to reflect on what they have and what they wish for, and the value in having a community that is proud of all that it has to offer.

“ We have to change the story that IS and tell stories about who we are and where we are going. Add to that the actual resources that describe THIS place.”Tim Heath, Architectural Ecology Ltd

Kāi Tahu Taonga -

Treasure the place of Kāi Tahu in the arts and culture landscape and invest for the future

Kāi Tahu is a creative power house, with many artists gaining national and international recognition integrating modern mediums and ideas with Dunedin’s deep, proud Māori heritage. Support for Mahi Toi – creative expression – is strong in Dunedin. Ara Toi, and the stakeholders who have developed the strategy, supports the 2014 Te Rūnanga cultural strategy (Manawa Whenua, Manawa Reo, Manawa Kāi Tahu – Our World, Our Word, Our Way), which ‘sets out a pathway to create successive generations of strong, vibrant champions of Kāi Tahu culture.’ For example, what is achieved by our teachers for Polyfest (Otago Early Childhood and Schools Māori and Pacific Island Festival). Dunedin’s culturally innovative and open approach integrates older, multi-stranded histories and culture to create something new and amazing.

Creative Creature - 

Embed a creative perspective in all Dunedin’s decision-making and action

Creative thinking is a hot commodity and the benefits of including creative professionals from the outset in all kinds of work and collective problem-solving are hard to deny. Dunedin’s public and private sectors, community groups and agencies need to be supported to integrate creative perspectives into their thinking, decision-making and the way they do business. This will not only drive the city’s creative culture and reputation. It will unlock new, more effective, ways of achieving Dunedin’s goals and realising the city’s full potential.

2014 research from Creative New Zealand reported that two-thirds of young New Zealanders have participated in at least one form of Ngā toi Māori in the last 12 month period.

Spaces to Skite About -

Foster a creative physical environment, chock full of exciting public art, festivals and events

The everyday can be extraordinary with a creative approach to the public realm, and Dunedin must set the bar high to create great spaces that delight, intrigue and challenge those who adventure in them. Dunedin has beautiful foundations – the heritage buildings, diverse contemporary venues, cultural diversity, abundant green spaces and great biodiversity – that require active support to thrive. Good urban design and planning need to be enhanced by activities that add to the vitality of Dunedin’s spaces. From the spontaneous and informal to the ceremonial, festivals, events and public art should be pursued, valued and supported for their ability to transform the spaces we have. Residents and visitors alike should have wonderful experiences in Dunedin and be encouraged to embed creativity into the very fabric of the city, in recognition of the vital role of creativity in generating civic pride and strong community interactions.

Boy am I scaredBoy am I scared|Peter Robinson|1997|Acrylic on paper|Jim Barr and Mary Barr loan collection, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

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