Veteran arts and culture group, Arts Margaret River will operate the Margaret River HEART as part of a new co-managed arts and cultural hub, in partnership with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.
The new model has been established to strengthen community connection and access to the venue and deliver a raft of arts, culture and community-focused events and entertainment programs.
Council endorsed the new operating model back in August and the two organisations have worked tirelessly since then to define responsibilities and financial arrangements to put the model into operation.
At a Special Council Meeting held on Wednesday 7 December, Council authorised the Shire’s CEO to enter into a five-year agreement with a five-year extension option with Arts Margaret River for the co-management of the HEART.
Shire President Paula Cristoffanini acknowledged the central role Arts Margaret River has played over its near 50-year history.
“Arts Margaret River has been such an integral part of establishing and fostering the arts in our community,” she said.
Ms Cristoffanini said the new agreement was an exciting milestone that would set the course to improve community access to arts and culture opportunities.
“This new partnership approach represents an innovative and collaborative new direction, and we’re proud to be supporting and investing in our local arts and culture scene.
“The initial agreement terms are designed to give both parties the required time to refine the partnership whilst allowing the co-managed model to fully establish, providing continuity to both parties.
Ms Cristoffanini thanked Arts Margaret River for the goodwill shown in the negotiations.
“The agreement will be reviewed annually to enable adjustments and ensure that it can be continuously improved as the partnership evolves,” she said.
Arts Margaret River President David Shelton shared his excitement for what the future holds.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invigorate this wonderful facility as the focal point of arts and culture for all our community.
“Our team, headed by Michelle Wright, has been working closely with Shire personnel and the HEART team over the past few months and are excited about the potential to make it a more accessible and better-utilised venue,” he said.
Under the agreement Arts Margaret River will develop and deliver the annual program of events and activities including a wide range of performing and visual arts programs and community activation.
All Margaret River HEART-related revenues are to be allocated to Arts Margaret River on the basis that they are direct outcomes of the delivery of the annual program. This supports Arts Margaret River establishing a solid revenue base whilst also reducing the administrative burden that a shared income model would create.
The Shire’s total expected financial commitment to run this facility, including the annual agreement fee for 2023-24 is budgeted to be $1.389 million. This allocation includes the agreement fee to Arts Margaret River plus the provision of a tech team of staff, all necessary building maintenance and operations expenditure requirements, utilities, IT, and depreciation.
To enable Arts Margaret River to develop and deliver the annual program, an annual agreement fee of $225,000 has been agreed to.
Arts Margaret River has supported arts and culture in the region for almost 50 years and will now work alongside the Shire’s community and culture team.
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