On May 11+12, Create NSW (the newly merged Arts NSW and Screen NSW) hit the road and brought their friends from Australia Council, Firstdraft and the Live Music Office to our region for two days of discussion and networking. The first day, an eager group of 30 community developers, cultural workers and artists gathered for a panel discussion with the Sydney representatives on the future of regional creativity. Local artists Sarah McEwan and James Farley joined Tesha from Firstdraft, John from Live Music Office, Sam, David and Andrea from Create NSW, and Tegan from Australia Council for the discussion chaired by our Executive Officer, Scott Howie. A recording of the conversation is available below – pardon the Galahs.

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Create NSW panel discussion, 11 May, 2017

The next day, all 25 one-on-one appointments with the visiting organisations were fully booked. We saw local filmmakers chatting with Screen NSW, council workers plotting with Australia Council and cultural workers organising with the Live Music Office. It was a busy and productive morning that lead into the last session, The Project Ideas Clinic, where many works-in-progress were presented and all participants pitched in with advice.

Overall, it was an enlightening 2 days where the focus was shifted from the bright lights of the big city to our booming cultural hub here in the Riverina. It was especially exciting for the industry representatives to be in town when the Museum of the Riverina had a giant opening for their latest project, the Australian International Animation Festival was on and three shows from local artists were showing in our galleries. We proved that you do not have to be in the city to have access to interesting and progressive cultural events.

There was a lot of discussion about having a shared space for visual and performing artists to work in and develop their practices. This would also include writers, musicians and any other creative practitioners who need space to make.

If you have any ideas about where this space might be please get in touch with us! Let’s keep up the momentum and not only keep our creative community strong, but also encourage it to grow.

A big thank you to all of the visiting representatives who took the time to visit with us and another thank you to all of you who participated.