Issues reflection- Community engagement through art in libraries

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    • #2756
      Stephanie Venturato

      Whilst libraries have always been places of learning and literature, they have not always been places that you would naturally associate with the arts, however this is increasingly becoming the case in recent years with the rise of GLAM’s. GLAM’s represent not only an alliance between these major public cultural institutions but demonstrate a commitment to the shared goal of public engagement with cultural heritage. Art’s and culture have an important role to play in our society, when communities participate in the arts they are happier, more creative both as individuals and as a society,  and as a result are instilled with a sense of pride.


      In this post I am looking at how libraries  foster arts and culture in the community, and why it is so important that they continue to do this in spite of an anti-art+culture environment ( looking at you Newman). For many that have  grown up in Queensland, the view of the state as a cultural wasteland is not an unfamiliar one. This is often attributed to the mass exodus of creatives felling the wrath of the far right leaning Joh Bjelke-Petersen

      government that actively quashed alternative culture. The Brisbane today is almost unrecognisable, as more and more citizens gain a understanding and respect for the arts. We have come a long way and there are lots of exciting things happening with ARI’s, Arts Queensland and other initiatives that demonstrate a public yearning for culture . But despite this public desire for the arts and their existence remains tenuous, forever on the brink of cuts to funding, spaces and resources ( Hellllo Newman!).


      As we all know librarians overwhelmingly hate Tony Abbot (FACT) and therefore are natural defenders of arts, freedom  and our alternative cultures. But more importantly libraries are accessible public places, they draw people from all warps of life that may not otherwise be able to access traditional cultural venues both for physical and social reasons. GLAM’s are increasingly moving to a role where art and culture are not merely viewed but created, offering patrons the chance to learn and grow through culture. Libraries in particular excel in this field as they are already fantastic educators, they have much to offer the GLAM community in this respect.


      Community access to the Arts through libraries can have profound and lasting effects, these are some some of the many examples

      • Urban regeneration-  As cultural icons and landmarks; libraries assist placemaking,urban identity; and community consolidation.
      • Building  adult literacy- This project engaged clients with resources both in and outside the library environment. These were people with low level literacy skills that were able to gain a confidence in themselves and they’re creativity
      • Library as Incubator project-   Many many examples of libraries and artists’ working together for the greater good

      Art and Culture in libraries is for everyone, it is about lifting people up and introducing concepts and a culture that they might not otherwise have access. Libraries can do this in a way that is accessible and speaks to people, and at the end of the day they are giving the community back a lifelong gift of participation in the arts.

    • #2767
      Stacey Larner

      Haha tell us how you really feel Steph ;).

      I like the idea of being a defender of the arts and culture!

    • #2785

      Love it Steph – love your passion and your commitment. I can feel my new superpower growing within me! I’m definitley going to need a cape though ….

    • #2787
      Stephanie Venturato

      Haha good to hear you guys, maybe we should all get matching capes!!!!

    • #2843
      Steven Walker

      Wonderful reflection 🙂

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