Arts officer will promote vibrant town

AN officer dedicated to the promotion of the arts in a Suffolk town has been appointed for the first time.Ipswich Borough Council has employed Rebecca Weaver as an arts development officer following the publication of a controversial draft Cultural Strategy.

AN officer dedicated to the promotion of the arts in a Suffolk town has been appointed for the first time.

Ipswich Borough Council has employed Rebecca Weaver as an arts development officer following the publication of a controversial draft Cultural Strategy.

Her role will be to raise the profile of culture and the arts within and outside the town.

The local authority has also appointed Kara Chatten as an arts project officer.


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Ms Weaver said: “As an advocate of the arts and contemporary culture, I want to see Ipswich become an even more vibrant, innovative and exciting place to live and work in.

“I look forward to raising the profile and pushing the arts agenda for the town and highlighting its contribution to the region and beyond.

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“Over the next six months I will be making contact with the deliverers of arts activity, finding out their aims and ambitions in order to pull together an integrated strategy for the development of the arts in Ipswich.

“I will continue to ensure that there is a vibrant programme of contemporary visual arts and interesting public art projects.”

Judy Terry, the council's portfolio-holder for culture and leisure, said: “We know there is a lot of artistic talent in Ipswich and we created this important and exciting post to raise the cultural profile and aid its development over the coming months.

“We have come a long way over the past nine months - we have agreed to fund big improvements at the Corn Exchange, we have worked with the Odeon to open a Film Theatre screen there and we have brought in a professional pantomime to help make the Regent Theatre more vibrant and responsive to what local people want.

“Now Rebecca will help us to take visual arts in the town forward and I am sure we will make good progress in partnership with many other people and organisations.”

Ipswich Arts Association has raised concerns about the consultation process surrounding the council's 15-page draft Cultural Strategy, which sets out how leisure and entertainment facilities in the town will be developed.

But Vera Rogers, secretary of the association, said of the new appointment: “The proposal to appoint an arts development officer, as part of the Cultural Strategy, is something the Ipswich Arts Association is in favour of.

“We are keen to develop the arts in Ipswich. Ipswich Arts Association represents over 40 societies in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

“We are there to promote their activities and make sure they have facilities.

“If having an arts development officer furthers their interest it's an excellent thing. We welcome her appointment.”

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