The Harvey Shire is one of only two local governments in the South West set to share in $140,000 to promote regional arts in a bid to grow its flourishing cultural scene. Harvey Shire’s Creative Communities Strategy will introduce place-based arts and cultural events, increase artistic and cultural capacity as well as focus on the vibrancy of public spaces. A total of four regional shires — including the Shires of Pingelly, Harvey, Augusta-Margaret River and Morawa — have shared in $140,000, with the Shire of Harvey receiving a total of $48,450 to develop the plan. According to Shire documents outcomes of the plan will give artists the opportunity to showcase and develop their work, influence the broader community and stimulate residents through arts and cultural events. Labelling Harvey’s arts and culture community as “flourishing” Shire president Paul Gillett said the strategy aims to support accessible, challenging and engaging programs that strengthen a sense of place and support thriving and connected communities. “By developing a Creative Communities Strategy the Shire recognises the role that local art, artists and cultural industries play in the cultural, economic, social and artistic vitality of the Shire,” Mr Gillett said. The funding comes as part of the McGowan Government’s $20 million four-year Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program. Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman said programs like this support local governments to build wellbeing through community connection. “RACIP provides incredibly valuable opportunities for regional artists and arts organisations to deliver programs in their local community,” he said.