Creating Creative Careers for Aboriginal Curators in the New England North West

Arts North West is excited to announce another successful project rolling out in the coming months. Create the Curator is a professional development program aimed at providing emerging regional Aboriginal curators with an opportunity to build on their skills and establish themselves as curators living and working in regional NSW.

Four regional Aboriginal emerging curators will participate in a three part professional development project to build their skills, experience and networks and gain significant insight into the various environments curators work in.

Professional and renowned curators Sandra McMahon, Caroline Downer and Sharni Jones will work with the participants through a series of workshops and site visits.  These visits will include a variety of creative spaces from, Aboriginal owned and run galleries, regional galleries, commercial galleries to community spaces throughout the Armidale, Tamworth and Moree region.

Arts North West has contracted the management of this project to 2 Rivers Pty Ltd.  “This is an excellent opportunity for experienced arts workers to develop into regional Aboriginal curators enabling them to promote not only their own skills but also that of other regional Aboriginal Artists” said Project Manager Lorrayne Riggs, “This project is the result of community consultation and identifying a real gap in the market for regional Aboriginal curators, it will promote long term cultural, social and economic outcomes”.

The emerging curators will use their new skill set in a practical way as they work towards presenting a group curated exhibition in 2019. The exhibition will be held at Weswal Gallery in Tamworth and will be a wonderful opportunity to begin building their portfolio of experience.

This project aims to engage and promote regional Aboriginal artists, arts and culture by introducing more Aboriginal people to curatorial positions in regional New South Wales. By doing so, long term collaborations and exciting exhibitions can be developed along with boosting audience development and innovative projects that possibly have not been considered before.

Successful projects announced in Round One of the Regional Cultural Fund for New England North West

Successful projects announced in Round One of the Regional Cultural Fund for New England North West

Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place Inc., Development completion – New England North West ($846,000)
This funding will enable the Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place (ACCKP) to complete its gallery works, car park, footpath, landscaping and install solar panels on the building. Being the only fully operating Aboriginal cultural centre and keeping place in the New England North West region, the ACCKP has become a significant venue for the community and surrounding regions.

Guyra & District Historical Society Inc., Museum refurbishment – New England North West ($60,000)
The Guyra Historical Museum will undergo a major refurbishment and renovation, which includes painting the whole building, electrical and plumbing repairs, replacement of doors and flooring where necessary, and the temporary removal of all museum display objects whilst these works take place. The project also includes a new research space and upgrade of data research tools.

Inverell Shire Council, Inverell Town Hall annex upgrade – New England North West ($26,440)
The upgrade of the Inverell Town Hall annex will re-energise the arts landscape in Inverell by boosting the capacity of the 1905 venue to host a wider variety of events. Following the upgrade, the annex will host arts, cultural and heritage events including drama workshops, pop up theatre, short films, acoustic live music performance, contemporary dance, week-long artist-in-residence programs and visual art exhibitions.

Moree Plains Shire Council, Civic Precinct redevelopment – New England North West ($1,052,182)
The Moree Civic Precinct – incorporating the Memorial Hall, Banquet Hall and Moree Plains Library – is an iconic 1923 building set in the heart of Moree’s main street. It has long been the home of the dramatic arts for the region, however needs redevelopment to satisfy the current and future requirements of theatrical and dance groups, visiting stage shows, schools and community groups. The redevelopment will improve heating and cooling, access, amenity, acoustics, access for people with a disability, and fire safety, and provide a safe and modern stage.

Narrabri Shire Council, Outdoor cinema screen – New England North West ($9,480)
Narrabri Shire Council will purchase an outdoor cinema screen and operating accessories for use throughout the shire (and adjoining shires when requested). It will provide cinematic, cultural and artistic experiences for the broader community and be available for community fundraising activities. The equipment will be based in Narrabri and transported to various locations as needed to serve the needs of community groups, outlying towns and neighbouring shires.

Tamworth Regional Council, Barraba Museum revitalisation – New England North West ($52,805)
The revitalisation of the Barraba Museum will provide essential upgrades to the museum buildings to better support site activation, place making and access to the museum and its collection. This volunteer run museum requires essential building maintenance to provide a safe, secure and accessible museum that adequately cares for its collection. The project is supported by a dynamic volunteer community.

Tamworth Regional Gallery, TRANSMIT project– New England North West ($58,500)
TRANSMIT will provide large-scale portable and permanent digital screens to enable wide community access to events occurring in places such as state galleries and universities. It will also support education programs for all ages and abilities. The screens will be located inside the Tamworth Regional Gallery and in other locations in the region. TRANSMIT supports access to the arts in regional Australia, the principle priority of the gallery since it opened nearly 100 years ago. TRANSMIT was launched on the gallery’s centenary 1 June 2019.

Uralla Shire Council, Aboriginal Cultural Display – New England North West ($16,196)
Uralla Shire Council has been approached by Local Aboriginal Elders wishing to loan or donate artefacts to preserve and assist the community in learning about local cultural heritage. This display will offer a diverse and distinctive cultural experience by encouraging development and growth in the regional cultural sector. The cabinets will be placed in the soon-to-be-upgraded Visitor Information Centre allowing tourists and locals to experience and learn about the local Aboriginal Culture and strengthen the relationships between the Local Elders, Uralla Shire Council, the local Community and the high tourist market.

 Starting Ground Workshop for Aboriginal Musicians

APRA AMCOS, in partnership with Create New South Wales and Arts North West, will once again bring its successful Starting Ground workshop to the region, with the two-day program taking place 1-2 August at the Youthie. Aboriginal musicians at any stage in their career looking to further develop creative and business skills are invited to attend. Sessions run 9am-5pm each day.

A dynamic mix of top artists and industry leaders will cover key areas: songwriting, music production, artist management, touring and live performance, marketing and promotion and more.

Coming to Tamworth are singer-songwriter Leah Flanagan, local blues artist and 2018 Tamworth Regional Council Volunteer of the Year Buddy Knox, hip-hop artist and record label founder Fred Leone, producer/engineer Anna Laverty, and Greg Carey of Grow Yourself Up, artist manager for The Rubens and Urthboy. APRA AMCOS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Representative Michael Hutchings will facilitate the sessions.

Established in 2015 with support from the New South Wales Government, the Starting Ground project was created to help Aboriginal musicians build their skills, promote their work, develop career pathways and access mainstream music markets.

This marks the third year in a row that Starting Ground has come to Tamworth, with previous workshops also taking place in Eden, Byron Bay, Dubbo and Redfern, and artists mentored include local musician Athol Munro, Loren-Jade Ryan, Dylan Goolagong, Sean Kinchela, Tom Avery, Tamwah Williams and up-and-coming country artist Maddi Lyn.

“Starting Ground gives First Nations artists a unique opportunity to work with some of this country’s finest songwriters and music industry leaders. The intensive two-day workshop gives artists a chance to not only gain valuable professional advice and skills but also the confidence to push their music into the future,” said Michael Hutchings.   

Registration via Eventbrite
Questions about participating? Please contact
Michael Hutchings, APRA AMCOS, (0447 447 646) or
Danielle Tuwai, APRA AMCOS,