Southern Peninsula News 24 August 2021

Page 7

Spotlight ready to shine after darkest hour Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au MUSICIANS and other performers who have done it tough over the past 18 months can see a spotlight at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with plans for an artist’s hub and performance space at Main Ridge. The driving force behind the project is Mornington Peninsula Music Network president Heidi Luckhurst, who also leads the Frankston Music Community Network. “I feel as though it is my obligation to spread the voices and concerns of what I hear directly and pass it on,” she told The News last week. “Musicians, entertainers and venues are struggling. Hospitality is struggling. I’m sure the whole world is. I am doing my best to provide what support I can.” Ms Luckhurst has launched a Pozible campaign to raise $26,000 towards The Shed Theatre, a 100-seat artists’ hub and performance space at The Pig & Whistle, Main Ridge. The venue has been hard hit by continuing lockdowns for 200 days and counting. “They have put a massive financial dent into funds allocated to the future of our hospitality business and the launch of The Shed Theatre and Arts Hub,” she said, adding that any financial support “would guarantee this most-needed space”. Ms Luckhurst said her Facebook group of 80 or so out-of-work musicians communicated daily. “It has become apparent that we need to start the recovery of our entertainment

industry now,” she said. With the pandemic closing the doors of two of the peninsula’s original live music venues: Soundbar and Moonah Arts collective, The Shed was “hanging by a thread to keep its doors open”. “We have an amazing small rustic theatre willing to provide a space for artists and entertainers to perform, learn, create, collaborate supporting their wellbeing, lifetime of artistic development and social life,” Ms Luckhurst said. “As soon as lockdown ends we hope to open the doors, offering opportunities to our creative artists.” Ms Luckhurst said she had spent seven years volunteering and supporting the arts on the peninsula and had “never felt desperation like I’m experiencing now”. “I’m drawing on everyone’s heartache and fearful energy as they watch their hard work and inspiration dwindle away,” she said. The three projects most needed at The Shed include a PA system ($17,500); stage lighting ($5000) and live stream equipment ($3500). The link to the Shed Theatre project is: pozible.com/project/the-shed-2 Other links to the project can be found at mpmusic.com.au and thepigandwhistle.com.au

Creative goal: Heidi Luckhurst, pictured with musician Charlie Owen, has launched an online campaign to raise $26,000 towards a 100-seat artists’ hub at Main Ridge. Picture: Yanni

WINTER WOOL

SALE

Shire in bid to buy chapel land By Joseph Misuraca MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council wants to buy a small section of private land in Shoreham that was originally part of the outdoor Cyril Young Memorial Chapel. The land at 39 Marine Parade was erroneously included in the private block when subdivided in the 1960s, according to Cr David Gill. “Nobody, I believe, went and looked and saw what was there,” he said. If the land sale negotiations are successful, a heritage overlay will be adopted to protect the reserve on which the chapel lies. “I can’t reveal sums [needed to buy the land] because that’s in negotiation,” Cr Gill said. “But the council has determined they want to acquire some of the property where the owner has a section of the outdoor chapel in Shoreham that is really important historically.”

Meanwhile, the shire allocated $10,000 in May to maintain and restore the chapel. In 2020, the Shoreham Bush Chapel committee appealed for Moorooduc stone to use in the restoration works. “We were getting concerned because the stonework in the pulpit area, and the platform … we can see it sort of crumbling a little more all the time,” committee member [name required] said. [He or she] said the front wooden benches in the chapel would be restored first. The committee wants the chapel to be “a place of quiet reflection”. Cr Gill hopes the restoration will be complete by the end of 2022 or early 2023. “It shouldn’t look pristine or brand new – that to me would take away something. Even as it is now, it has a ghostly, eerie effect.,” he said.

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Southern Peninsula News

25 August 2021

PAGE 7