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MURRAY ARTS PROJECT REPORT 2015


CHAIR’S REPORT

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2015 has been a year of firsts for Murray Arts. The organisation has realised some ambitious ideas and projects in an extremely busy year. In one of many firsts, we were thrilled to receive funding via Creative Victoria for our 2015 program. This funding has contributed both to the ongoing operations of Murray Arts and has allowed for some of our new projects to go ahead such as Cargo - Art in Transit and the Circuit Open Studios Program. 2015 commenced with a painting project of a different kind, with the timely relocation of the Murray Arts office to the former Wodonga Tourist Information centre, positioning the organisation front and centre on the Lincoln Causeway. The move has provided some much needed office space for staff and a more flexible space which hosted a regular Aboriginal art therapy group and a 3D printing workshop as part of From the Ground Up. We have loved spending more time on the road in some of our more regional communities this year.

From Corryong to Savernake and many places in between we are always delighted by the warm welcome we receive when bringing arts to our community. The staff spent three unforgettable days at Henty Machinery Field Days. With over 75,000 visitors across three days, it is one of the regions biggest events and Murray Arts was part of it with Cargo: Art in Transit. Across 2015 we have continued our work at the forefront of Aboriginal Arts Development in the region. With the ongoing employment of our Aboriginal Arts Officer, Murray Arts is committed to developing this sector – providing opportunities and career pathways for Aboriginal Artists in the community. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of the small committed team at Murray Arts who continue to innovate and create in their roles. I’m always amazed by what a small team of part time staff can achieve. At the end of 2015 we farewelled project officer Jo Bartels from the team and wish her every success. Murray Arts will look forward to another year of exciting arts and cultural activity in 2016. Cr Fiona Schirmer Chair, Murray Arts Corowa Shire Council

Murray Arts respectfully advises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that this publication may include images and text that may be of a sensitive nature. This publication may contain the names and images of deceased people.

Front cover: Untitled 2014, Daniel Walther, Cargo – Art in Transit

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 2013–2015

The following five key strategic priorities are identified in the Murray Arts Business Plan:

Information and Communication

Forging Strong Partnerships

Building Community Capacity

Strategic Project Delivery

A Sustainable Organisation

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Ken Raff, Circuit Open Studios Program


INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION GOAL: To be a central point of information and communication for the arts across the region.

I think Murray Arts is a great organisation that supports all levels of creative development in this region. I have used lots of the services and appreciate the advice and support available. I have confidently recommended this organisation to peers, emerging artists and students. Newsletter Survey

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Communication continues to be a strong focus in the role Murray Arts plays as a conduit of information across the region. Murray Arts rapidly increased its audience reach over the past twelve months via the website, a steady rise in enewsletter subscriptions, more followers on our social media platforms – particularly on twitter and Instagram, through radio promotions and printed marketing material.

THE VITAL STATISTICS

1390

Cargo - Art in Transit

Audience

252

Participants

Audience

87

142

443

1270

476

4861

A Month In The Country Workshops

Audience

School Drama

143

234

184

698

NAIDOC Week Preschool Program

Facebook

287

1203

194

Twitter

894

32,888

20,089

REACH Subscribers

TOTAL AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT

Website Visits

Enewsletter subscribers

Instagram

AEC workshops

18

Participants

Smart Arts

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Participants

#murrayarts3by4 Instagram Project

Sharing Our Stories Exhibition

The monthly enewsletter continues to be an important source of arts information, sent out early in the month. Stop Press communications reached subscribers’ inbox on average once a week. Information sent out through the Stop Press campaigns continue to generate immediate response, feedback and/ or participation in events. To support the Circuit-Open Studios Program, new template pages within the Murray Arts website were internally developed at a significant cost saving and achievement for the organisation. Participation in the Circuit-open studios program was overwhelming and was strongly supported by a partnership with ABC Goulburn Murray and through printed marketing material.

From the Ground Up

Circuit Open Studios Program

Murray Arts continues to engage with education communities through the REACH education enews.

Wiradjuri Galingga, Leonie McIntosh. Photo Paul Temple Our Stories | Our Voices

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Project Cargo– Art in Transit How many artists can you fit in the back of the Murray Arts car? Custom-designed by Murray Arts with Blaze Displays, Cargo is a purpose-built exhibition space that can showcase diverse artworks, including three-dimensional works and take them anywhere out in the community. The aim was to venture out and share a unique exhibition space with an entirely new audience, targeting people who wouldn’t traditionally enter a gallery space. Cargo kicked off with three amazing days at Henty Machinery Field Days, we are grateful to the team at HMFD for allowing Murray Arts to be part of their massive event. Cargo has since been travelling all over the country side, visiting Henty, Holbrook, Culcairn, Mullengandra Hall, the Wodonga Children’s Fair followed by the Savernake School of Arts Hall, Corryong

Neighbourhood Centre and Bonegilla Migrant Centre.

Mary-Rose Riley’s ‘Objects for the Imagination’ Workshop was enjoyed by 6 creative participants and over 190 school students and families witnessed a new style of gallery experience.

Curated by Sarah McAlister, Cargo’s first exhibition brought together 9 artists from the Murray region, all on personal journeys, at varying stages of their artistic careers. Cargo was a selective display of original artworks and offered an immersive arts experience via new technology behind a downloadable A-Positive app.

The A-Positive app was an opportunity to see the artists working, without them actually being there, generating an exciting arts experience to remember. It successfully initiated audience response and participation.

The most important thing for us was that it created a conversation about art in Corryong and brought it back into the community’s focus.

Sara Jenkins, Corryong Neighbourhood Centre

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FORGING STRONG PARTNERSHIPS GOAL: To forge strong partnerships with local government and other arts organisations.

Row D Seat 11 eye level, front and centre - Sweet Seats indeed Murray Arts! Sweet Seats winner

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In 2015, Murray Arts has continued to strengthen our partnerships with local and state government as well as break new ground with metropolitan based organisations including Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group. These partnerships develop and support arts and cultural activity in the region. Our flagship partnership projects in 2015 were: Cargo–Art in Transit Sharing our Stories Exhibition Circuit Open Studios Program School Drama A Month in the Country In partnership with HotHouse Theatre, Murray Arts provides funding which supports an additional two residencies for theatre makers. Sweet Seats A partnership between Murray Arts and local performing arts venues, offering free tickets to shows to encourage new audience members.

Regional Cultural Forum In partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and City of Wodonga, a Regional Cultural Forum was held in Bonegilla with a focus on how to put you and your arts practice first. SAMAG Forum Murray Arts partnered with SAMAG (Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group) to present ‘What constitutes excellence?’ in a critical public conversation with a panel of regional arts leaders including Karen Gardner, Murray Arts, Vic McEwan, CAD Factory and Lyn Wallis, HotHouse Theatre. Network Partnerships Murray Arts supports a number of networks across the region, facilitating meetings and activities which provide peer support and promote the sharing of ideas and resources. These network meetings provide the opportunity for collaborative projects which help Councils work together towards shared outcomes. Ψ5e[debN[J_bZSbcASdg_bZΠ important networking opportunity for cultural workers to share ideas and resources Ψ7ReQNdX_^ASdg_bZ – review and contribute to the promotion and communication of information relevant to schools and higher education institutions.

Sharyn Hill School of Speech & Drama

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Project School Drama What if you were a primary school teacher and you had the opportunity to improve not just the academic results, but the social and emotional wellbeing of your students? You’d take it. Right? Murray Arts, HotHouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company announced a new partnership which rolled out Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed School Drama program across the region in 2015. School Drama partners Primary School teachers with a ‘Teaching Artist’ – a professional performing artist which gives teachers the tools and confidence to integrate the arts in the classroom and recognise its power as a teaching tool. School Drama allows teachers to employ innovative teaching strategies in their own classrooms, with the students they work with everyday, with the support and guidance of the Teaching Artist. Working together across a full school term, participating teachers and the Teaching Artist explore how drama strategies can be integrated into areas of English and Literacy. But the benefits don’t

Photo courtesy of Sydney Theatre Company

stop there. Schools who have been involved in the program have noticed other benefits right across the learning spectrum. This regional pilot was a first for Sydney Theatre Company, and three places for the program were highly sought after, with eight schools expressing their interest. Springdale Heights and Lavington Public School in NSW and Rutherglen Primary School in Victoria were selected for the program. School Drama began with a vital practical skills day for teachers, equipping them with drama-based strategies designed to enrich children’s literacy development in fun and creative ways. 16 teachers from around the region joined Sydney Theatre Company’s John Saunders in the professional learning day. Teachers acknowledged the value in networking with professional drama teachers and highlighted the learning tools and skills gained through constructive drama exercises.

BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY GOAL: To build the capacity of artists and communities in the arts.

Each year Murray Arts facilitates a series of professional development events that are targeted to meet the needs of our regional arts sector.

Smart Arts Program Marketing 101 Murray Arts and the City of Wodonga developed an in depth professional development program to support and improve the marketing of arts and cultural activity in the region. Marketing 101 delivered a comprehensive program to demystify the marketing process and create a strategic marketing road map. The workshops were facilitated by Comms&Co.

Grant Writing Workshops Five grant writing workshops were rolled out in June, targeting each of the six local government areas. Murray Arts presented two Funding Information Sessions in partnership with Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Victoria to clearly outline the funding opportunities available across both States.

Murray Arts is an extremely valuable and much appreciated part of our creative and general community. The networking opportunities and communication about what’s on have been extremely valuable.

Newsletter Survey

A Month in the Country workshops Each year Murray Arts works in partnership with HotHouse Theatre to support a program of free workshops run by performing artists and writers as part of the Month in the Country residency program. In 2015 participating schools and community groups included;

Corowa Theatre Company – Gilgamesh

Burrumbuttock Primary School – Applespiel

Wodonga Senior Secondary College – Baste the Bagel

Beechworth Montessori – Paper Cut

Corryong Secondary College – The Rabble

Sharyn Hill School of Speech & Drama – Lake Disappointment

Albury Entertainment Centre Workshops Murray Arts coordinated 3 schools to attend Monkey Baa workshops held 21-22 May 2015, linked to the performance of their regional touring show Unknown Soldier.

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BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY continued

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RealTime workshop Four local writers took part in an intensive, in-depth review writing workshop with Sydney based magazine RealTime editors Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter; who have conducted workshops across Australia. Participants reviewed HotHouse Theatre’s show This is Where We Live and the finished reviews were published in RealTime magazine. Country Arts Support Program Five applications were received from NSW Councils for the Country Arts Support Program grants. All five projects were recommended for funding totalling $16,872; Projects funded were: AlburyCity Council – Voice Activated Corowa Shire Council – Capture the Moment Greater Hume Shire Council – Springtide Scribblers Greater Hume Shire Council – The Sum of Us - Object Stories, Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre – Botanical Art for Aspiring Artists.

From the Ground Up project Science Week, 15 - 23 August 2015 3D Printing is ultra cool and truly amazing. Murray Arts set out to discover what all the hype was around the latest technology in the Science world in From the Ground Up. This Arts and Science project combined the beauty of the environment, exquisite botanical drawings and the cutting edge science of 3D printing. Small-scale 3D sculptures were created from sketches and paintings and then printed in Polylactic Acid plastic. The Science in this project worked on two levels: environmental and technological. Finished small-scale designs and printed artworks toured around the region with Cargo–Art in Transit. A short documentary film produced by Helen Newman recorded the science and art making process.

From the Ground Up

#murrayarts3x4 Instagram Bypassing the more traditional ways of promoting art, Murray Arts offered a free workshop to Wodonga TAFE to encourage creativity using Instagram. The project worked with photographic artist Kirsty Macafee to teach young artists specific skills related to Instagram filters, editing tips and how to build up an online following. Auspiced Projects Murray Arts continues to provide support to individual artists and community groups through the auspicing of projects and wages. In 2015, Murray Arts auspiced the Umberella Project at Creators Artspace and administered the wages for the coordinators of Creators Artspace and Arts Wodonga.

Fabulous Vivien well done to Murray Arts staff for such an amazing experience! Participant, From the Ground Up

Backyard Bonanza, AlburyCity Photos Andrew Pearce Country Arts Support Program

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STRATEGIC PROJECT DELIVERY GOAL: To develop Projects of Regional Significance.

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Aboriginal Arts Development Aboriginal Arts Development remains a key priority for Murray Arts and the organisation continues to be at the forefront in this sector with the employment of our Aboriginal Arts Officer. The activities undertaken in this area are wide ranging, covering both the areas of community health and professional development for practicing artists. Journey of New Growth The Journey of New Growth is an art therapy program for Aboriginal People suffering mental health issues. The group is made up of members who have been referred by Albury Wodonga Health – Community Mental Health and Gateway Health. The group met on a weekly basis to provide clients with a safe space to explore and connect to their cultural identities through art. Working with mental health workers and Murray Arts Aboriginal Arts Officer, the group used art to explore the relationship between the isolated individual, a supportive community and a world of possibilities. Murray Arts was successful in securing a small grant from the Department of Human Services which employed artist Ken Raff as a qualified Art Therapist to work with the group.

Our Stories | Our Voices Murray Arts was successful in securing $15,000 in funding from the NSW Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund for the project Our Stories: Our Voices. The project engaged Aboriginal author Dr Anita Heiss to collect and tell the stories of local Aboriginal Artists. These stories will be collated into a full-colour, perfect bound publication to be released in 2016. Making Money Business Murray Arts partnered with Regional Arts NSW to bring Creative Industry specialist David Sharpe to the region to work with Aboriginal Artists. The program covered basic business compliance, retail impact and ongoing operations. NAIDOC Week Preschool Program Murray Arts received a grant from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to develop a series of workshops for preschool children as part of NAIDOC week. The program employed local artists to work with seven local preschools and kindergartens to bring an authentic, local Aboriginal cultural experience to the youngest people in our region. Burraja Arts Throughout 2015, Murray Arts has been working in partnership with Burraja Indigenous Cultural Centre to establish ‘Burraja Arts’ – an Aboriginal Artists Enterprise and shop for the sale of local Aboriginal Artworks. The shop will be located at the front of the Murray Arts office and has been fitted out with support from Bunnings, the Koori Prisoner Program at Beechworth Prison and Yackandandah Primary School. We received a Border Trust Community Grant to assist with the marketing and promotion of Burraja Arts. The anticipated opening of the shopfront will be in early 2016.

NAIDOC Week Preschool Program

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Project Sharing Our Stories | We Are One Sharing our Stories | We are One was the 5th annual Aboriginal Artists Network exhibition and featured 14 Aboriginal Artists living within the Murray Arts region. The exhibition featured a range of different materials, from quandong seeds and echidna quills, to red gum carvings, raffia weavings and acrylic paintings. The richness and diversity of contemporary Aboriginal art was a strong representation of the current professional practice of local Aboriginal artists, many from different nations. The opening was held on Thursday 5 March by City of Wodonga Mayor Councillor Rodney Wangman and included a smoking ceremony by Uncle Wally Cooper. The exhibition was extremely well attended with over 4,800 people visiting the exhibition. In addition, almost 500 people attended a range of public programming activities which included: 1 Artist Talk

10 Workshops

1 Performance

8 Educational tours 1 Other (Ulysses Market Day)

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Maggih you are a super star - managing all our artists and their requirements, I have very much enjoyed working alongside you on this project Jenn Wright Art Space Wodonga Coordinator

Turtle Tracks, Darren Moffitt. Photo Paul Temple

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A SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION GOAL: To ensure the ongoing sustainability of Murray Arts.

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To achieve a sustainable future for the organisation, Murray Arts looked to corporate partnerships, increased staffing levels and to retain our highly skilled staff through professional development opportunities. Corporate Partnerships In 2015, we welcomed Atura Hotel and ABC Goulburn Murray on board as supporters of the Circuit Open Studios Program. We also secured funding from Charles Sturt University through their community partnerships program for Cargo – Art in Transit and Our Stories: Our Voices. Creative Victoria Funding Murray Arts was successful in securing a Vic Arts Grant for 2015 through Creative Victoria for annual operations and support for a number of projects as part of the 2015 program. This funding continued the contract of the Projects Officer position for 2015.

Professional Development: Regional Arts Development meetings Karen Gardner attended the quarterly RADO network meetings in Sydney, a vital opportunity for peer networking and peak body state and federal arts organisation dissemination of information. Karen Gardner attended two days of Social Enterprise Training run by City of Wodonga in September. This was very informative and provided a good platform to move forward with the ‘Burraja Arts’ Aboriginal enterprise and shop. Vivien Naimo attended Inspiring Regional Science Hubs Leadership Forum in Bundanon in November. Vivien presented an overview of Murray Arts science in art projects. Karen Gardner is a peer assessor for the Austral Council for the Arts and for Creative Victoria.

Belinda Fraser, Circuit Open Studios Program

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Kerrie Docker, Circuit Open Studios Program

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Project In 2015, Murray Arts developed the Circuit Open Studios program which was designed as a cultural tourism activity to encourage visitors and residents alike to discover the hidden studios of artists in our region. The program was a resounding success with over 2,000 people visiting studios across the region and generating income of over $10,000.

Members of MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury) were invited to take part in a MoMAMA Circuit bus tour. Two different bus tours were created exclusively for the weekend. The MoMAMA Circuit bus tour was fully booked well in advance. An additional bus tour was organised by Thurgoona Community Centre with an itinerary provided by Murray Arts.

Circuit – Open Studios Program

A curated program of events and activities was held over a single weekend in winter, 20-21 June 2015. A key aspect of this program was its promotion of the Border and North East as a vibrant arts community, spread across a diverse area. It presented a rare opportunity for artists and galleries to collectively open their studios and exhibition spaces, to offer workshop opportunities and generate an exciting opportunity for sales and commissions.

Circuit was an opportunity to fine tune art skills and make artworks, watch demonstrations, listen to artist talks, get busy in workshops and visit an opening exhibition. Circuit featured 9 individual artist studios and 10 gallery spaces and artist collectives. The first of its kind in the region, it offered a trail of discovery with inspiring painting, printing, pottery (even a scarf fund-raising auction) and sculpture demonstrations in the vibrant and eclectic studio spaces and homes of artists around the Murray region.

Was a fabulous initiative! Congratulations on a visionary project. Di Mangan (de Cerchi)

Linda Fish, Circuit Open Studios Program

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ABOUT MURRAY ARTS

PURPOSE AND VALUES Purpose: To actively assist the ongoing development of, and participation in, arts and culture throughout the Border region. We value: artistic endeavour, creativity and integrity the arts as a medium to challenge us and explore our humanity the opportunity to participate, express ourselves and access all artforms community wellbeing through the arts the ability of the arts to connect us.

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Murray Arts is the regional Arts development organisation in the Border and North East Region and services six local government areas across New South Wales and Victoria. Murray Arts is one of 14 Regional Arts Boards in NSW and is also part of the Regional Arts Victoria Cultural Network. Murray Arts services the regions of AlburyCity, City of Wodonga, Greater Hume, Corowa, Indigo and Towong Shires. Murray Arts works directly with individuals, artists, communities and local government to help them develop the arts and cultural life of their communities. Murray Arts is a not-for-profit organisation governed by a nine member board. Murray Arts is primarily funded through the NSW State government via Arts NSW and through our local government funding partners. Murray Arts balances regional arts development with specific project support to communities and local government. Murray Arts Board Murray Arts is a not for profit incorporated association, governed by a Board. In consultation with Murray Arts staff, representatives from our member councils as well as other arts organisations ‘steer’ the operations of the organisation.

Fiona Schirmer (Chair) Councillor, Corowa Shire Tahni Froudist (Vice Chair) General Manager, HotHouse Theatre Deb Ross (Secretary) Community Representative Denise Osborne (Treasurer) Community Representative Jenny O’Connor Councillor, Indigo Shire Debi Gadd Councillor, Towong Shire Stuart Heriot Councillor, Greater Hume Shire David Thurley Councillor, AlburyCity Council Mary Fraser Councillor, Towong Shire Glenn Mancer Head of Performing Arts, Trinity Anglican College, Thurgoona Patricia Gould Councillor, Albury City (to October 2015). Murray Arts Staff Murray Arts enjoys a strong profile and great relationship with its community and stakeholders, driven by skilled and well respected staff. Karen Gardner General Manager/Regional Arts Development Officer Vivien Naimo Finance & Administration Officer Jo Bartels Projects Officer Carolyn Doyle Communications Officer Maggih Coates Aboriginal Arts Officer

Core funding partners:

2015 Funding partner

Cargo – Art in Transit

School Drama

Circuit – Open Studios Program

OurStories : Our Voices

What Constitutes Excellence Forum

Sharing our Stories and Marketing 101

From the Ground Up

Regional Cultural Forum

Real Time Reviewing Workshop

NAIDOC Week Preschool Program

A Month in the Country

Country Arts Support Program

Burraja Arts

real time

Making Money Business Workshop


Nucleii, Faith Colwell-Beaver Cargo – Art in Transit

murrayarts.org.au email: info@murrayarts.org.au phone: 02 6021 5034 address: 44-46 Lincoln Causeway Gateway Island Wodonga VIC 3690 PO Box 7142 Albury NSW 2640

Murray Arts 2015 Annual Report  
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