Light boxes, augmented reality storytelling, free performances and Christmas displays could soon be part of the Hastings arts and culture scene.

The ideas are part of the Hastings District Council arts, culture and events recovery plan which was adopted at council last week to help restore the creative sector which has been hard hit by the pandemic.

The plan aims at developing opportunities for the community.
It includes a number of initiatives as part of events, performances, installations and exhibitions the community can attend.

Options in the plan include light boxes to be used as art installations, signage and storytelling; augmented reality as a platform to tell stories of Ngā Pou, other local landmarks and art displays; facility open days; free monthly performances at Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre; online library programmes; and large indoor and outdoor Christmas displays and installations for events at Functions on Hastings.

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Council committed to delivering the proposed initiatives over the next six months and beyond.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said restoring the arts post Covid-19 was a major focus for the council.

"We will be working closely with our arts stakeholders in phase two of this plan to support local events to enliven our city as part of our Covid-19 recovery.

"The value of arts and culture in our society and the positive impact it has on our economy, health and wellbeing, society and education is paramount in these uncertain times.

"The arts adds depth to the rich tapestry of our district and give us opportunities to learn more about ourselves and our community, to tell our stories and share our experiences. They also offer us an escape from the harder realities of life - this is needed now more than ever in our current post-pandemic world."

Toitoi manager Megan Peacock-Coyle said they will also be exploring other funding sources as well as council funding to increase the participation in and enjoyment of the arts.