The impact of the natural disasters has created new issues for artists and arts workers but has also greatly exacerbated ongoing systemic issues that threaten the stability and development of regional artists and arts organisations. Lack of knowledge and information dissemination about existing arts support is prevalent across all three communities.
Prior to the disaster people felt a lack of connection to existing arts sector networks, information, knowledge and a broad enough skill set that they were able to successfully deliver the programming they envision for their community. Post-disaster people are emotional, physically and psychological stretched and stressed. This makes concentrating, planning, finding time and an ability to prioritise this kind of development over the other broad array of demands on people’s time almost impossible.
Volunteers who make up the bulk of regional arts practice, either in terms of management committees for small organisations, those running arts centers, museums, galleries and libraries or those working in schools, multi cultural centres and senior’s homes are suddenly unable to do what they usually do to engage the community. This takes a very long time to bring these skills back into the community and resurrect existing and much loved programs.
The community development sector is on the rise - growth and expansion in capacity and services is across all pilot communities. There is opportunity for this sector to invest in creative recovery more formally and sustainably in communities by boosting local programs, supporting community based anniversary projects and investing in school-based storytelling projects. The Creative Recovery Pilot Project will broker some of these opportunities however there is a need for partnering with this sector to support the generation of ongoing, strategic and high impact investment.