STRATEGIC PLANNING, RE-POSITIONING AND GOVERNANCE RESTRUCTURE FOR TASMANIA’S ICONIC SALAMANCA ARTS CENTRE
> THE CONTEXT
Salamanca Arts Centre (SAC) is one of Tasmania’s most visible cultural organisations, positioned on the waterfront at Salamanca Place. It is home to a unique and vibrant community of artist studios, galleries, venues, retail outlets, arts organisations and public spaces.
The Centre has grown from a small, community-focused arts organisation in the 1970s to a high-profile focus for cultural development in Tasmania and beyond. Growing demands upon SAC have raised expectations of management, staff and systems, and led to a need to review organisational structure and to professionalise the Centre’s planning processes.
SAC had been established as a membership-based Association with different stakeholder interests represented within the membership. There had been occasions when these became conflicting interests, undermining the stability of the organisation.
> THE BRIEF
Positive Solutions has assisted with SAC’s strategic planning, led a positioning review to highlight the value of SAC to the Tasmanian cultural ecology, and undertaken a major review of organisational and governance structure. For the organisational and governance review Positive Solutions was asked to consider alternative arrangements which would provide greater stability, increase the speed of decision-making, and eliminate some of the potential conflicts of interest which were evident in the existing structure.
For the positioning review we were asked to gather and present compelling evidence of SAC’s impact within the arts sector and for the broader community.
> OUR APPROACH
To provide guidance on structure and governance Positive Solutions undertook a review of relevant policies and documentation, a survey of the membership, interviews with key stakeholders, and facilitated board discussions. An options paper informed a stimulating round-table discussion with board members and other agreed stakeholders to inform the final report. For the positioning review we mapped all existing activities, surveyed users, and undertook wider consultation amongst artists and the education sector – as well as interviewing key stakeholders.
> THE RESULTS
Positive Solutions recommended the wind-up of the Association and a transfer of operations to a leaner, company-based structure. The recommendations were accepted by the Tasmanian Government and the Arts Centre, and were implemented. The positioning review was used to support a successful bid to Government for additional support, and enhanced understanding of SAC’s role within the cultural sector.