Regional Arts Conference
21 September 2010
Bel Evans from the Theatre team has just returned from Junction 2010; Regional Arts Australia’s national conference and arts festival held in Launceston Tasmania from 26 – 29 August alongside more than 700 delegates from around Australia and the world.
Commencing on the Thursday evening delegates proceeded through the street of Launceston to witness the moving opening ceremony,Weavings, which featured a mass choir of community members and a welcome from the Palawa people.
The conference moved through a number of themes over the proceeding days, opening with Mike White from Durham in the UK exploring the interactions between arts and health and what this can mean for the wellbeing of communities, both local and remote.
Dr Ernesto Sirolli was another highlight with his message that you should always do what you love and find others to do what you hate, a message which resonated with all the delegates present and which led to some entertaining discussions!
Popular concurrent sessions included ‘Dance Like A Man’, ‘Yarn On – Hands On Session with the Knitting Room’ and the presentation of the ‘Drive’ project by bigHart which used film to show the risks young men take when they first reach driving age.
As one delegate, Leanne Hurst, commented on the Junction 2010 Facebook page, 'Mike White, Ernesto Sirolli and our own home-grown young emerging community cultural development practitioners - lots of inspiration today!”
Enveloping and intersecting the conference was the Junction Arts Festival which was packed with performances, installations, exhibitions and creative exchanges throughout Launceston, in buildings, on the streets, up trees and just about anywhere you looked.
The pulsating heart of the conference was Civic Square which featured the cabaret club The Junc Room, projections by artist Cindi Drennan, roving performers, dancers and the public interacting, enjoying and soaking up the explosion of colour and movement which lit of Launceston in the middle of winter.
Julie Boyd, President of Regional Arts Australia said, 'To see everyone come together to interact and share from all corners of this country was incredibly empowering. We have talked with each other, challenged each other and had a few laughs along the way, and we certainly look forward to gathering together in Goolwa South Australia in 2012 to see what future directions and inspirations we can share with each other.'
Regional Arts Australia promotes the development of the arts for the one-in-three Australians who live in regional, rural and remote parts of the country. Its members give country Australians access to outstanding cultural experiences that are either home-grown or tour from other towns and cities. In this way, Regional Arts Australia gives a voice to artists and puts culture at the heart of community life across country Australia.
The next Regional Arts Australia conference will be held in Goolwa, South Australia, from 18 – 21 October 2012. Visit: www.regionalarts.com.au