Alternative visions for Kingston Arts Precinct

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Fitters’ Workshop, Kingston
THE ACT Greens have today proposed a funding boost of $2m to a total of $5.75m to ensure the Kingston Arts Precinct provides both a new home for Megalo, and a multi-use Fitters’ Workshop, but not everyone agrees.

“The development of the Kingston Arts Precinct should have been a coming together of the ACT arts community, but instead we’ve seen an unfortunate battle over the Fitters’ Workshop,” Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur said today.

“Megalo have been promised a new home in the Arts Precinct and the Greens believe that should be delivered. As the Fitters’ Workshop was never going to fit all of Megalo, we believe that a purpose built building is the right option to accommodate the print makers.

“It’s also an opportunity, after so much division in the arts community, to get moving on the Master Plan again and create the Kingston Arts Precinct that was first envisaged back in 1997.”

Meantime, the independent arts forum, The Childers Group, has released its own vision statement for the Kingston Arts Precinct.

Spokesperson, David Williams, said, “The Kingston Arts Precinct is a rare opportunity to create a vibrant arts hub for the ACT region…it is a site of great potential.”

The Childers Group’s vision focuses on the visual arts, with  three core elements: a focus on visual arts complemented by creative industries; maximising access to the arts, and enhancement by  commercial infrastructure such as cafes, bars, and restaurants in a “whole-of-city/ whole-of-region” approach.

“In the Childers Group vision,” it reads,  “Kingston is a place for live performance to happen but music would not be the focus.” Instead the document  names key visual arts organisations, saying that Megalo Print Studio, Canberra  Contemporary Art Space, PhotoAccess and Craft ACT: Canberra Craft and Design Centre  should be assisted to relocate toKingston, organisations  relating to film, as well as creative-industry businesses, co-locating to  the precinct.

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Helen Musa
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