And it seems they want more:
The Glassworks, the Old Bus Depot Markets (held in the Former Transport Depot) and the planned relocation of Megalo Print Studio and Gallery to the precinct are seen to provide a heart for the Kingston Arts Precinct. But on their own they are insufficient to keep the heart beating. This requires abundant extra energy and activity in the precinct to help ensure longevity – to fire up artists and other creative people, and to make it a place that the rest of the community just must visit, and often.
During consultations it was clear that there is a high level of interest in the Kingston Arts Precinct by a range of visual arts disciplines (in addition to those identified by artsACT in its brief for the work), including for a fashion incubator, for screen-based arts, arts advocacy organisations and an Aboriginal Arts Centre. Proposed is the relocation of a number of key arts and cultural organisations to the precinct.
In order to accommodate the identified demand, and to help develop a critical mass of creative activity, proposed here is the adaptive re-use of heritage-listed buildings and spaces, with some new facilities, to provide an integrated, active precinct for visual arts, contemporary arts and other cultural activity. As already announced by the Chief Minister, it is intended that Megalo will relocate to the Fitters‘ Workshop. In addition, it is proposed that there be a new purpose-built building. This is essential for providing the space necessary to create a vibrant, active arts and cultural precinct with this facility having the potential to be a unique, landmark venue for the visual and performing arts, potentially for a curatorial program.
The ultimate goal of the strategy is for a vibrant, high quality, diverse cutting-edge artisan and production precinct that is active seven days and evenings a week, which not only celebrates and respects the site‘s Aboriginal, early settlement and industrial history but also is:
— well-connected to its immediate communities and the broader Canberra community
— adaptable, flexible, accessible and sustainably developed
— underpinned by the infrastructure and resources necessary to give it long-term viability as a place for local and visiting artists, designers, makers and creative businesses, and
— for the wider community is an inspirational place to visit and experience because it is known as a place where artists, cultural organisations and creative businesses make, teach, exhibit, perform and sell their work.
UPDATE: As midnight approached last night Joy Burch’s office distributed a media release bigging this up:
A lakeside outdoor cinema, fashion design centre, night markets, seasonal sculpture exhibits, and a microbrewery are among exciting inclusions being considered by the ACT Government for the future Kingston Foreshore arts precinct.
The new arts hub will build on the existing work of the Canberra Glassworks, the Old Bus Depot Markets, and the imminent move of Megalo Print Studio to the historic Fitter’s Workshop building.
“There is a great opportunity here for us to build on what we already have to turn this site into a diverse arts hub that attracts people from all over Canberra – and even the country – seven days a week, day and night,” Ms Burch said.
The problem being that genuine artists can’t afford Kingston real estate. Historically this is why “arts precincts” naturally accrete in low rent districts.