Almost four years after an election pledge promising $4.5 million to Godinymayin as part of the massive overhaul of the Territory's art and cultural attractions, a tender for the centre's new design has been released.
The NT Government has invested $106 million into art centres and cultural attractions across the Territory to build a "nationally significant Arts Trail" and grow the industry - but the funding rollout has been staggered and slow.
However, 2021 is seeing a number of projects across the Territory pushed ahead by the NT Government in a bid to accelerate Australia's economic recovery from COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Mimi Aboriginal Arts centre, now more than 40 years old, set a demolition date of March to make way for its own $2 million rebuild as part of the Art Trail.
For the cultural centre, the big ticket item lies in a new amphitheatre, Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre chairperson Toni Tapp Coutts said.
"The vision is for Godinymayin is to become an iconic gathering place for art and culture in the Territory and the nation," she said.
A host of ideas have been put on the table, including upgrades to the solar panels, relocating the gift shop and cafe and adding an extension to make way for a new office. But the design process is expected to narrow down the ideas to a single proposal, ready for work to start this year.
"We used to get 1000 people at the Civic Centre for things like the opera and the Flying Fox Festival, but the space just wasn't built for those types of big events," Mrs Tapp Coutts said.
Mrs Tapp Coutts said the board is hoping a new amphitheater can be built behind the current car park and facilitate up to 1000 people.
"We already have a space for outdoor events, but there is no rigging for lighting, no stage, no green room and no room to grow," Mrs Tapp Coutts said.
Godinymayin manager Jessica Powter said she is hoping the upgrades will help connect the regions and support local and national events.
"In the past there has been a focus on Katherine and the town, but we want to branch out to places like East Arnhem and the Barkly by encouraging people to come and perform here," she said.
"We have the potential to host Naidoc events, the choir and Territory Day performances - the bottom line for us is we need to promote variety but also make this facility pay for itself and that means putting on more events and shows."
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