Centre in plea for permanency
The Exmouth Cultural Arts Centre has been given a temporary new home at the old visitors centre on Murat Road, but there are hopes the move can be made permanent.
ECAC has been in the space for three weeks, moving in to the building after the visitors centre moved down the road to the new Ningaloo Centre.
Shire of Exmouth president Matthew Niikkula said so far they were impressed with what ECAC has done with the space.
“ECAC have embraced this opportunity, bringing life to a building that was sitting vacant, providing a great link to the Ningaloo Centre and an additional experience for visitors to the Ningaloo region,” he said.
The arts centre is open seven days-a-week, providing a different cultural experience in Exmouth and offering workshops — plus an artist in residence working in the centre.
Having been tucked away for years, the centre is in the spotlight, according to ECAC president Suzanne Mchutchison.
“Being at the Murat Road location we’re in the face of people, they can see it’s an arts centre, come in and see what we’re doing,” she said.
Having originally been given use of the space by the Shire until the end of June, ECAC want to stay for longer.
“We’re hoping to stay there permanently because it’s an ideal place for art. It’s open, it’s got lots of light and it’s conducive to being an arts centre,” Ms Hutchison said.
Their wish is one step closer, with the Shire extending their lease last week.
“The long-term use of the building will be determined based on community need, space availability and the best fit for the building; however, the Shire agreed to extend the ECAC lease for another three months while the long-term future of the building is finalised,” Mr Niikkula said.
Ms Hutchison believes the community also want the space to stay an arts centre. “So many people have commented and asked why aren’t we staying here permanently because it’s the perfect position for us,” she said.
Mr Niikkula said the Shire offered this opportunity to ECAC to see what they could do with it.
“We look forward to working with them to make this a positive experience for their organisation, the local community and visitors to Exmouth,” he said.
ECAC is urging people to ring the Shire and tell them that it should stay an arts centre.
ECAC secretary Gill Morris works on a painting,