Culture and the Arts
Jersey has an increasingly diverse and inclusive community that not only reflects the rich tradition of our cultural and artistic history but is also setting new directions for excellence in all areas of the arts and creative industries. Culture and the arts means so many different things to islanders so it’s vital that we consider where the island currently is in its appreciation of these subjects as part of our social fabric.
The ‘Future Jersey‘ consultation in 2016 commented that “ arts and culture are currently seen as a bonus rather than a necessity”, and that “it’s easy to say that culture is valued and yet [we] do little to support the infrastructure“. It was also clear from the findings that the majority of islanders valued our cultural sector, but that there was much to do to support a part of island life that has received inadequate investment for some time.
The Progress Party considers there are five key points that will underpin the development of the culture and arts sector in Jersey. The Progress Party will promote these:
- by supporting a creative, adaptive and reflective community
- by enhancing community physical and mental wellbeing
- by encouraging competition and increasing economic entrepreneurship through creative industries
- by supporting place making and local event spaces to celebrate Jerseys identity
- by concentrating place making and events within St.Helier, St.Aubin, Les Quennevais and Gorey
As we move forward, The Progress Party consider it is vitally important that all the broad and diverse range of organisations that support and administer arts, culture and the creative industries in Jersey progress and evolve together. We must all agree on a Cultural Strategy that will set direction for the sector and clearly identify the relationship between government and all the key stakeholders. All organisations should be encouraged to contribute to this new direction, one that will update the 2005 Cultural Strategy, a document that doesn’t currently reflect the changes seen over the intervening period.
The Progress Party consider there is not only merit in having a dedicated Arts, Culture and Heritage Officer for government but that consideration should be given to amalgamating all the current arts and culture bodies into one representative body called Culture Jersey. Such a partnership could reduce administrative costs whilst ensuring that all parts of the sector work collaboratively in promoting and growing arts and culture in Jersey to a wider audience.
Culture Jersey could tap into the wide range of experience and expertise that is spread across the island’s cultural, artistic and creative resource to add new energy and purpose to a sector that is about to be provided with increased levels of funding. The States Assembly need to be reassured that such funding will be wisely spent on growing Jerseys cultural identity both internally and to the outside world.
The Progress Party supports the hugely significant decision to dedicate 1% of government spending to arts, culture and heritage. Much of this funding will need to be invested in supporting the islands heritage assets, however there is an essential need to invest at the earliest opportunity in the arts and culture to ensure that, as an island, we have quality places and spaces for our arts and culture community. The Progress Party will carry out, by the end of 2022, a review of all current arts and culture sites in Jersey to ascertain their importance to the community, the degree of investment required and whether all sites are required in the long term. This review will be carried out working alongside each representative body with the aim to produce a transparent and honest assessment of cultural infrastructure in Jersey.
We will provide and promote services that support peoples physical and mental wellbeing and healthy living connection to community, the parishes, cultural engagement and “whole of life” learning.
The Progress Party believe that the arts enable both individuals and groups to engage on multiple levels with diverse skill sets and experience. Art thrives on diversity and as an island we should encourage both traditional art forms and as well as those which embrace social differences and technological changes. We will ensure that our community have easy access to all arts and cultural projects and facilities irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity or ability.
How will we achieve our aims?
The Progress Party as a matter of urgency will carry out a review involving key stakeholders in all the sectors, including the Opera House and Arts Centre, to understand the needs of the local arts and culture sector. This will inform a new Cultural Strategy for Jersey
We will deliver a new Cultural Strategy for Jersey that will provide direction for arts and culture for a ten year period to 2033.
As part of the new Cultural Strategy, The Progress Party will endeavour to bring all key arts and cultural organisations into one representative body called Culture Jersey.
We will deliver and support arts and culture opportunities that enhance social connection, inclusion and the experiences for those living in Jersey.
The Progress Party will, wherever possible, lead on the delivery of high quality spaces and facilities for arts and culture that will be well maintained and respectful of their nearby environments.
We will identity and enhance public spaces that allow events to take place to promote visual and public arts.
The Progress Party will encourage and support the wide range of charitable organisations that provide opportunities for islanders to participate in culture and the arts to improve their lives through education, rehabilitation or recovering from physical or mental illness.