The Wired Lab has been awarded $982,485 to transform the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Muttama into a cultural tourism destination that will increase regional tourism and create local job opportunities. The site will facilitate community activities and provide access to deep listening arts experiences by internationally renowned artists. The development will also include permanent installations by leading Australian artists as part of its built works and will include adjoining boutique accommodation.
According to Sarah Last, CEO & Artistic Director of The Wired Lab, ‘We’re thrilled to realise our vision for this exciting project. Since The Wired Lab’s inception, we have set out to recentre cultural experiences to ensure they are inclusive of the regional and rural context. The Church project does this and will be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. We can’t wait to get started.’
The Wiradjuri culture will also be embedded in the sites planning by means of close consultation with Wiradjuri Elders. A Wiradjuri Yarning Circle will be situated in the middle of the space as part of the centre’s ongoing commitment to First Nation cultures.
Aunty Cheryl Penrith, local Wiradjuri leader and The Wired Lab board member said `The Church redevelopment will be an on Country space that provides opportunities for cultural exchange. In particular, the Wiradjuri Yarning Circle centrally locates First Nations culture on a site where we were once excluded. This gesture is incredibly powerful and meaningful, especially as the Wiradjuri Yarning Circle will enable us to share culture with our community and visitors.’
The grant was awarded through a combined NSW and federal government grant from The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund with the support of over 10 regional stakeholders including Wiradjuri, government, tourism groups and operators.