Friday, November 18, 2011

Multilingual Interactive Artwork for Civic Square

Since late 2010, CMCF has been following up ideas from the community about installing a permanent artwork to highlight the central role of languages spoken and used in the ACT during the city’s centenary in 2013.
As noted in an earlier post, the aim is to celebrate languages of the past as well as the vibrant multicultural present (170 languages are used in ACT homes according to the 2006 ABS census). It will also symbolize the ongoing and future importance of language skills for a city that interacts with the world through its residents as well as international visitors, delegations and diplomatic missions.  
Civic Square has been identified as an ideal location, where several cultural institutions meet the city and the government, and where the multicultural centre is located. In partnership with the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs, CMCF has organized a meeting with selected stakeholders, including representatives from ACT planning bodies and institutions and businesses around Civic Square, to discuss the overall concept, plans for selecting the final design, and possible sites for the artwork.
Designs for the artwork will be called for after the meeting. In broad terms, we envisage a visually appealing artwork, incorporated into an existing building or structure, and involving sound, for example the voices of Canberrans speaking various languages, possibly with an associated web presence. The final brief for artists will, however, depend on input from stakeholders at the meeting. 
One we have an idea of the design - hopefully by early 2012 - we will be looking for sponsors. We anticipate the project will be mainly funded by the community, including the diplomatic and business community, as part of their gift for Canberra’s centenary.
Like to get involved?  Contact the CMCF Languages Advisor at
Want to be kept informed of progress on the project? Watch this space!!