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Halfway Print Fest brought to life with small grant opportunities – CASP

The applications for the Country Arts and Support Program closed last month in July, however there will always be another round opportunity for 2020.

To those ambitious creative community groups and individuals who have ideas in their pipeline – those can become a reality through the Country Arts Support Program.

The Country Arts and Support Program (CASP) is an annual small grants program administered by Regional Arts NSW on behalf of Create NSW, to support community arts and cultural development in regional NSW.

It was through CASP that the regional city of Wagga Wagga, NSW was able to host the first Halfway Print Fest in March 2018. They have since held their second festival and looking forward to their third in 2020.

The creative and hardworking duet behind it all are Kate Allman and Adele Packer from Salad Days, an independently established zine since 2015.

The CASP grant recipients share their experience in applying and how these small grants have made a huge positive impact and benefited their project and the entire regional community.

Tell us about the Halfway Print Fest?

The inaugural Halfway Print Fest was held in March 2018 in Wagga Wagga NSW at Thirsty Crow Brewery. It is a celebration of all things print and hosts zinesters and independent publishers from the Riverina region to Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

It is Wagga Wagga’s first zine fair and offers opportunities for artists and attendees, both local and visiting, to share their creations and learn more about DIY publishing. We hosted the event again this year (2019) and we hope to have another go in 2020.

Why and who applied for the grant?

We applied for the grant together as our creative collective, Salad Days, and had it auspiced by Booranga Writers’ Centre – a local writing group with an ABN. We chose CASP for the first Halfway Print Fest because we knew it supported new community initiatives.

Also, we had the support of our local regional arts office, Eastern Riverina Arts, which made us more confident throughout the application process.

We knew we needed funding to assist in the payment of artist fees which is always a large part of our budget. Additional costs, that we could not have handled without external funding, included marketing, table hire and an event website fee.

What was the process like?

Luckily, the process was made easier through regular consults with Eastern Riverina Arts. The Executive Director helped us organise crucial event logistics like a stallholder agreement, artist invoices/fees and OHS considerations – these details were included in our application.

We had to gather letters of support from a range of community organisations, visiting artists and local artists who we employed to help run the event, so it was important for us to have little deadlines working towards the completion of the application a few days before the closing of the funding round.

Sharing the application responsibilities between us, staying organised and using the knowledge of Eastern Riverina Arts made the process much smoother.

 

Keep an eye out on the Grants page of the Regional Arts NSW website for details on CASP 2020.

Photo credit: James Farley