Why Shepparton doesn’t want a new art museum BY Ben Ladson

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The social media backlash to the proposed idea of a brand new Art Museum for Shepparton was fierce. The comments from Committee for Greater Shepparton chairman David McKenzie indicated reasons why Shepparton would benefit from it, comparing it to other regional areas that have already taken the initiative to develop arts strategies, while Shepparton trails behind. My thoughts are that you can’t polish a turd. Don’t bother trying to make Shepparton something it’s not. How about continuing to invest in Shepparton’s strengths as a premier sporting region, and weaknesses, a list too long for this article word count.

Sure, Shepparton can try and play catch up on the other art regions, or we could do something unique and original to our area to use as a draw card. What that might be, who knows, but council love throwing money into research projects, I’m sure they could come up with something more original than a white whale per se, which obviously signifies the current one is not just inadequate but undervalued by the region, which is ironic with how many millions have already been pumped into it. I just don’t see how lashing out even further will solve the problem that barely anybody cares about it.

McKenzie challenges the public to ‘‘bring me an example around the world where a well thought out and executed arts strategy has failed.’’ I challenge him to provide an example of a well thought out and executed strategy for anything that’s failed!

A range of commentary on the Shepparton News’ Facebook page had strong opinions both for and against, mainly against, the proposal. It was overwhelmingly clear from the majority of the social media commentary from local citizens that the money could be better invested elsewhere, but the talk in the comments section of a Facebook page may never amount to anything, falling on deaf ears of our region’s decision makers, such as in the past on matters of public amenities.

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