Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Good Week

Ross Honeywell
Last night I was one of around 25 people who gathered to share a drink in celebration of the formation of the Tasmanian Creative Industries Council, a body whose goal it is to raise the profile and importance of the creative industries especially to government and the broader community.
It was a modest gathering, but with reps from many sectors, it represented the beginning of what really needs to happen if collectively arts and creative organisations and businesses are serious about being heard. Ross Honeywell spoke brilliantly about the need to release Art Tasmania and let it be the creative and entrepreneurial organisation that it needs to be, rather than being hamstrung by bureaucracy.

For me it was close to home. With changes to funding through the Australia Council for the Arts, Tasmanian Regional Arts is looking at skeleton staff in the new year, IF it does not manage to attract funding. This is a huge challenge for a 65 year old organisation that is more used to helping others as opposed to asking for help. But it is now that it needs to hear from those artists, organisations and communities who have been assisted or worked with TRA.
It was quite ironic being part of the discussions when only a few hours before I had been with a dynamic group of community members in the Southern Midlands, where I have been facilitating and documenting the process towards the development of an Arts and Cultural Strategy for the region. Working closely with Southern Midlands Council, within a few months we have formalised a working group, ran a community arts forum that attracted 75 people from the region and beyond and in a week we will present both the Creative Communities Report and the Arts Strategy for the Region, which will include the recommendation of the formation of an Arts Advisory Committee to work with council to embrace and grow the creativity in the community. Bloody good stuff!
A scene from Little Lamb
The night before I saw the fantastic work of 3 first time film makers who produced Little Lamb, The Lala Road and Knit One. Terrifying, disturbing and funny, respectively, these films were part of the 2012 Raw Nerve Film Initiative organised through Wide Angle Tasmania.

It has been too long between drinks, but you know how there can just be such a glut on things. So, one of my favourite days this week was spent judging two very different art shows. The first was the Tasmania Together Youth Challenge. I have assessed this one a couple of times and once again it didn't disappoint with the clever messages often portrayed in very unique and interesting ways. I particularly liked the clay animation and the video work. I did notice a big increase in digital work with very little in the way of poetry, written prose or 2 dimension art.
Following this was the Abel Tasman Art and Design Prize where I was joined by 3 prestigious judges to peruse the entries. I won't give anything away, as there is another stage of judging and then the announcement on the 14 December. But it was such a thrill to experience the passion and hard work from aspiring and already established young artists and designers.

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