Future challenges

The main challenges for the future of Art in the Heart are:

  • finding funding to ensure the project continues after August 2012, when their Arts NSW grant ends,
  • gaining access to more empty properties
  • winning the support of more local business people for the idea.

"Negative reaction from local business owners has been slight to date," Stephen reports. "Some retailers question why the artists should be allowed to go into an empty shop for 'a pittance', since the temporary tenants don't pay rates or insurance or face the costs of a very high commercial lease.

"Sometimes in a country or regional centre there can be resistance to change, unlike a big city, which is a dynamic organism that changes constantly and enjoys a greater critical mass in terms of population and economics."

He hopes Art in the Heart will grow and garner even more support from the local community as it becomes even better known through the excellent coverage it continues to receive in the local media. 

"Art in the Heart is a moveable feast with unlimited potential and that's exactly how it should be," says Stephen Nelson.