Heading West

Arts North West has been successful in securing a Regional Partnership Grant for a two-year partnership with Arts Northern Rivers and Accessible Arts NSW focusing on developing the arts and disability sector in North Western NSW.

This grant will employ an Arts North West Arts and Disability Projects Officer, Stephanie Brummell to be mentored by Julie Barratt, a recognised leader in the regional arts and disability sector who led the highly successful Connecting Communities Program on the North Coast.

Connecting Communities developed quality arts programs and creative opportunities for people with disabilities in that region and core elements of such as an industry-led steering committee, how-to manual for stakeholders and a suite of accessibility, skills-development and creative projects will be transferred to the North Western NSW where other funding allows.

With strong buy-in from regional venues and stakeholders already secured, the mentorship component of the project has been developed to stimulate a flow-on professional opportunity in both regions arts and disability sectors.

“Arts North West has been working with its Enable Arts network for five years to accomplish this support for our region’s arts and disability sector. We look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to have a say or benefit from Heading West’ said Arts North West Regional Arts Development Officer, Dr Jane Kreis.

“Arts North West and its partners, Accessible Arts NSW and Arts Northern Rivers, are really excited about the potential of the project, not only for the New England North West but for regional Australian more broadly’ Dr Kreis said. “This project is for all those dedicated, creative and hardworking artists and carers who know how important creative processes and outcomes are for enriching and strengthening our communities.”

The initial stages of the Heading West project will also see the continued development and expansion of the Enable Arts network with the appointment and running of a Heading West steering committee comprised of regional artists with disability and key project partners. This committee will be central to the projects overall aim of profile raising and sustainable self-determination by the regional sector for the regional sector.

Accessible Arts NSW and Arts North West have had a long term collaboration with efforts made to sustain the art and disability community in this region since 2008. These efforts have increased since the establishment of the Enable Arts network, through Arts North West but required resourcing in order to take the next step. ‘Heading West is the next and much-needed step for our arts and disability’ concluded Dr Kreis.