Over the past year, the way we connect to people and place has changed. Almost overnight, museums shifted their collections, exhibitions, and programming online. Working from home became the norm and, as a result, creative ways of communicating emerged. During a time when we were physically restricted to our local environment, technology provided opportunities to connect us to people and organisations across the world.


Connection is the theme of the Regional Stakeholder Forum 2021. Across two sessions, we will focus on how cultural organisations from Western Sydney and across regional NSW connected with their communities and audiences, and how they envisage connecting when returning to onsite programming. This is a free online forum for museum volunteers and professionals.


The forum provides an opportunity for regional museums and the arts and cultural sector to come together and create discourse over topics and garner innovative new ideas. This forum is designed for regional MAAS stakeholders, such as:

  • volunteers of regional museums and galleries
  • arts development officers
  • museum advisors
  • programs producers at cultural institutions or collecting organisations or
  • cultural sector advisers.

During the forum, Regional Museums Adviser Joan Kelly will speak about the Volunteer Museums Project (VAMP) Artist in Residency Program. The program is a joint endeavour by Arts Northern Rivers and Orana Arts that aims to connect regional, volunteer-run museums with Indigenous artists and creatives. VAMP is about utilising artists as a mechanism and means to tell the story of the museum, create experiential engagement between the community and the museum, or create a narrative that connects with the museum.


As part of the program two Indigenous artists, visual artist Frances Belle Parker and sonic artist Blake Rhodes – both of Yaegl Country, were selected to take part in the residency program at two Clarence Valley region museums.


Ms Parker took up residency at the Maclean District Historical Society Inc. creating a series of work around the memories and significance of a local fig tree which had to be felled. Mr Rhodes was connected with the Port of Yamba Historical Society where he created a sonic piece around the museums historical name – The Story House. The museum is also home to a Yaegl Cultural Garden where Mr Rhodes plans to hold a performance piece in December.


The forum provides a wonderful opportunity to share and profile what regional museums are doing to increase visitation and develop connections with their communities.


Tickets are limited so register to secure your spot. Just prior to the program date, a link to join the online forum will be sent by email.


The Forum is presented by the Powerhouse Museum in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW and Regional Arts NSW.


Date: Friday 26 November 2021
Time: 9.00am-1.15pm
Location: Webinar
Price: Free, booking essential


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