Arts hub pledge

Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge, federal Labor MP Josh Wilson and arts centre manager Anna Reece.

LABOR has pledged $1.25 million towards a creative arts hub at the Fremantle Arts Centre if it wins the upcoming federal election.

A little-used second storey wing of the centre would be upgraded to house the hub, including recording, rehearsal and performance spaces, Fremantle federal Labor MP Josh Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said the hub would help “meet the ambition and potential of young people” and further Freo’s strong connection to the arts into the future. 

“[In Fremantle] There’s been a particularly strong artistic theme with respect to writing and musical performance … I think that to have a hub that’s based here that creates that sort of performance and rehearsal space with the ability to record both sound and vision of the highest level for young, emerging first nations artists will be a great addition to what already happens here”

Mr Wilson told the Herald he didn’t think publicly-funded recording facilities would take business away from privately-owned studios in the city, as they’d be targeted at up-and-comers who usually just patched together and borrowed what they could.

The hub initiative is similar to one Labor took to the last election, but Mr Wilson said while that had been very music-focused, the new model took in a broader range of the arts. The number of hubs being promised in the first round has reduced, but he’s expecting if they’re successful other regions will be clambering for their own.

Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the hub perfectly fitted the FAC’s purpose of nurturing the talents of emerging young artists. 

Ms Fitzhardinge said the council would look at what extra resources and capital works would be needed to build and run the hub, but said the arts centre was renowned for being able to create magic on the smell of an oily rag.

She said the council had been “teasing out space but won’t be displacing anything else other than probably a bit of storage”.

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