If you’re as excited as we are about the construction of an art gallery in Collie, you don’t need to be told why we need one, but, for those in the community that aren’t interested in art, it may seem like an unnecessary addition to our infrastructure. That is, until the underlying drivers are better understood.
The Collie Art Gallery will perform many functions for the Collie community, not the least of which is to encourage participation in arts and culture at all levels. A raft of research carried out all over the world over many decades has consistently shown the benefits participation in art has on individuals and communities.
Creativity is a key driving force for the economic development of post-industrial communities. When comparing the economic trends and shifts of cities around the world, notable economist and social scientist Richard Florida found that arts and culture – along with innovation, tolerance and diversity – have an extremely important part to play in a community’s economic success as well as its ability to attract and retain citizens.
The new art gallery has the potential to become a high quality visitor attraction, drawing new people to the region and showcasing a broad range of talent and achievement.
For individuals, participation in art has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing as well as reducing social isolation by providing opportunities for meaningful social engagement. It provides the vitality necessary for active living, to achieve goals and to interact with one another in ways that are respectful and just.
Arts and culture is just as important to Collie’s sustainability as sport and recreation, parks and gardens, libraries and amenities, but has not enjoyed the same level of investment. The new art gallery will provide the bricks and mortar required to create an environment that enables the development of innovative and talented individuals and groups through a range of programs and events.