Regional arts project is amazing and celebrates the identity of Queensland's Central West.
Regional arts project is amazing and celebrates the identity of Queensland's Central West. Mike Richards GLA120116SKTE

Expanding regional arts needs across CQ

WEARABLE art is among the bold projects being rolled out through a focus on prioritising local arts and cultural needs in Central Queensland.

Regional Arts Services Network held a Central Queensland summit last week and Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the collaboration showed amazing potential to drive regional development.

"This summit is a wonderful way for the local government areas to come together in the spirit of collaboration to drive Central Queensland's regional development opportunities and prioritise local arts and cultural needs," Ms Enoch said.

"CQUniversity is developing a suite of projects in partnership with the local councils of Banana, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Isaac, Livingstone, Mackay, North Burnett, Rockhampton, South Burnett, Whitsunday and Woorabinda."

CQ RASN program manager Susan Davis said the impact of the initiative was already being felt as new partnerships were forged and opportunities created that were not previously available in the regions.

"Plans are in development for building further opportunities in Indigenous dance and performance through a partnership with Blakdance who are currently supporting the development of three new contemporary First Nations dance works," Dr Davis said.

The Palaszczuk government committed $6.5 million to RASN from 2018 to 2021, to build capacity, support collaboration and leverage the value of the arts to achieve social and economic outcomes.

"RASN is already generating bold new projects that meaningfully engage with local communities, starting with the first major initiative rolling out at the end of this month in Queensland's Central West," Ms Enoch said.

"Dress the Central West, developed by Red Ridge, brings together local residents and artists to create wearable art."

"Red Ridge, in partnership with Central West Hospital and Health Service, worked with people in Winton, Barcaldine, Longreach and Blackall to create 32 pieces of wearable art to be presented in Blackall on 31 May and in Longreach on 1 June.

"This project is amazing and celebrates the identity of Queensland's Central West, sharing the powerful stories of the region through art." 

Art designer Claudia Williams said the project explored the region's history and traditions. "In Winton, we focused on the environment, community, landscape and animals from around the area. From crop tops and skirts inspired by sheep to snakes and bird-inspired fashion created from twigs, there are some amazing pieces coming from these regional towns," she said.

Minister Enoch welcomes the diverse Regional Arts Services Network projects which are delivering bold outcomes.

"As part of the network, eight regional arts service providers have employed regional arts officers and are working with local councils to focus on local priorities," she said.

"Building cultural tourism is a theme across a number of regions. Service providers are working with multiple councils to create art and experiences that draw on local culture for inspiration."

The service providers are Red Ridge (Western Queensland), Creative Arts Alliance (South-east Queensland North), Queensland Music Festival (North Queensland/State Coordination Office), Central Queensland University (Central Queensland), Empire Theatre Projects (South-West Queensland), Access Community Services (Ipswich and Logan), Arts Queensland (Far North Queensland) and Waratah Nicholls, hosted in Cooktown through a partnership arrangement with Arts Queensland and the Cook Shire Council (Cape York and the Torres Strait).



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