Arts future discussed

PARTNERSHIP: Jayne Holland is confident Country Arts SA can continue its partnership with the Ceduna and Streaky Bay councils. Picture: SuppliedCOUNTRY Arts SA is working with West Coast councils on a plan to continuetheir three-year Creative Communities Partnership, which funds a local arts officer.

Country Arts SA representatives met with the Ceduna District Council and Streaky Bay District Council last month to present an overview of thethree-year partnership including key activities that have taken place.

Country Arts SA arts and cultural development officer Jayne Holland said discussions were positive and she was confident the partnership would continue.

“We presented to both councils the two-and-a-half year report on art activity in the region and councils and community investment in the partnership and are now looking forward to the councils’ decision if they will reapply to the partnership,” she said.

“Our presentations were factualbut also really showed anecdotal snippets of how art does have the power to transform lives in regional communities.

“The feedback from elected members was positive.”

Ms Holland said Country Arts SA wasanticipating further discussionbefore the April 4 deadline to continue the partnership.

Country Arts has partneredwith the councils since July 2014 and Ms Holland said arts participation in the region continuedto grow, particularly in Aboriginal arts, visual arts, dance and performing arts.

She said these genres werevery strong, with good participation, strong partnerships and great art projects.

Ms Holland said retaining a presence on the West Coast was important for local arts groups, artists and the wider community.

“The partnership is valued because this is the only regionally based art and cultural development officer in the Far West of the state.

“The role is focal in enabling communities to realise their art aspirations.”

She said having an officer on the ground assistedin bringing funding to the region to develop and deliver art projects.

“An important thing to Country Arts SA is toplace artists and art making at the core of our business, to invest in artists and support them as they develop.”

She said the program was open to other sectors, “so that the role may continue in the region, perhaps in a different way”.

“Art activity can drop off in the region if there is no arts facilitator based in that regionbut this is not always the case.”

Ms Holland said part of the application process may be to outline a vision for regional collaborations between partners based on staffing, creative outcomes or a priority region.

The Australian Ballet Education Unit visited the West Coast last year and will again in 2017 and 2018 -its only regional outreach program in South Australia.

Ms Holland hoped to see bigger projects and events like this hostedin the regionbut saidlimitations in infrastructure, access and population made it necessary to “thinkoutside the square”.

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