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Regional Partnerships Link Country and City

The creation of opportunities for regional emerging Aboriginal artists working in a contemporary context, and a multi-arts initiative to revitalise and celebrate the significance of the humble community hall, are two of five projects to be funded through the Arts NSW Regional Partnerships fund.

Three Regional Arts Boards – Orana Arts, Arts Northern Rivers and Arts North West – will receive direct funding, while Eastern Riverina Arts Board is one of the partners with Real ArtWorks for the Nothing is Useless project. Wagga Wagga City Council is also a recipient of funding for a project that will capture the histories and stories of generations of Australian men and women who farmed the Riverina.

Announcing the $600,000 for the five regional partnerships, Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said the funding supports projects that directly benefit artists living and working in regional NSW.

Mr Grant said the government recognises the benefits working in partnership can bring with arts organisations collaborating on projects that provide a net benefit for all involved.

Orana Arts will receive $145,000 to partner with the metropolitan Blacktown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse for the LFP2 project that emphasises regional NSW Indigenous identity, tradition arts practice and expression. Five artists will explore their artistic practice, conceptual development and growth as artists and will be supported by five successful Aboriginal artists acting as their artistic mentors.

For the If These Halls Could Talk project Arts Northern Rivers will receive $150,000 to partner with regional galleries, museum, historical societies and libraries in the Northern Rivers. Seven community halls (one from each local government area) will be selected for the project and local communities will be invited to reconnect with their community and tell their stories, which will then be captured through a variety of art forms.

In a two year partnership with Arts Northern Rivers and Accessible Arts NSW, Arts North West will receive $79,500 for Heading West project that will focus on developing the arts and disability sector in North Western NSW. Heading West will develop ways to overcome the barriers of physical distance faced by many regional artists with a disability, increase professionalism and partnerships. It will also promote more inclusive practice across the region.

To recontextualise the Resistance Obsolescence: Nothing is Useless project currently on exhibition at Lismore Regional Gallery, Real ArtWorks will partner with Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, Eastern Riverina Arts Board and Tralala Blip. Professional and emerging artists, with and without disability, from the Riverina and Northern Rivers will use sound, images and text to make interactive artworks and in the process explore the idea of what is ‘useful’.

For the Talking Machines: reviving Riverina rural technology collections with video testimonies, Wagga Wagga City Council will receive $150,000 to partner with Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Museums & Galleries NSW, Oral History NSW, an award winning local filmmaker, regional cultural consultants and ten community museums across Eastern and Western Riverina. The museums are: Wyalong Museum, Up-To-Date Store (Coolamon), Cootamundra Heritage Centre, Greens Gunyah (Lockhart), Temora Rural Museum, Pioneer Women’s Hut (Tumbarumba), Tumut Museum, Batlow Museum, Whistlestop Museum (Weethalle) and Junee Broadway Museum.

Funding for Regional Partnerships is part of the Arts NSW’s Arts and Cultural Development Program. For more information go to www.arts.nsw.gov.au