Council to use former children's art house building


14 January 2019

Rotorua Lakes Council says it plans to continue using the building previously used for the Children’s Art House for other purposes.

The Mud reported on 21 December that families who had children at the Rotorua Children’s Art House were outraged the service was being shut down because it no longer received funding.

The building involved is located in the Government Gardens and is council property linked to the Rotorua Museum, which has been closed due to earthquake risks.

In a statement sent to The Mud, the council says the council was not closing the facility, but it was being wound up by the trust.  The then director of the Art House, Maria Marshall, told The Mud it had sought funding but sources, such as the council’s community arts funding, had not eventuated in the last round for 2018.

Denying it was closing the art house, the council said: “Council staff are going to explore the potential for another provider to continue programmes in the Children’s Art House.”

The council, while it had used the building for some museum-related activity, this was happening less and less and was likely to cease once the museum was repaired.

In the meantime, “there is no intention by Rotorua Museum to stop using the (art house) for its children’s education.

The house is part of the New Zealand Children’s Art Houses Foundation.  The foundation organisers believe children have the art potential and if they are given the space to freely express that, the children will grow their own art practice, as opposed to parents who want the information pushed into their children.

The sentiment behind the art houses is often summed up as being similar to the Cat Stevens song "Where do the children play".

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