Above: Our first Creative Grid mentorship. Chelsea Hopkins-Allan in her Albany studio with her chosen mentor, Kentdale artist, Paul Moncrieff.
Empowering, enriching and enlivening regional Western Australia through art

Connect to the Creative Grid is an unprecedented collaborative initiative empowering and enlivening regional WA communities through art.

Visual artists, arts professionals and arts organisations from across regional WA will engage 32 local communities in an exciting series of interconnected and enriching arts experiences that enhance social, cultural and economic vibrancy.

This eighteen month pilot program will provide a collaborative, state-wide, sector-wide, approach to developing opportunities for community capacity building, community cohesion, exploration of cultural identity and transmission and celebration of regional arts achievement.

48 Project Partners comprised of 40 Regional Arts Organisations, 7 state-wide Peak Arts Service Organisations and 1 state-wide industry advocacy body have collaboratively scoped, planned and resourced the eight projects to be undertaken during the Implementation Stage (January 2018 and June 2019).

FOR AN UPDATE ON CURRENT ACTIVITIES:

  1. Visit the Creative Grid Facebook page:
    www.facebook.com/creativegrid/
  2. Contact the Project Coordinator
    Fiona Sinclair
    Southern Forest Arts
    Email: info@southernforestarts.com.au
    Phone: 0418 754 704

PARTICIPATING REGIONAL COMMUNITIES, ORGANISATIONS & VENUES


Kimberley Region
KununurraWaringarri ArtsWaringarri Art Centre

Pilbara Region
KarrathaCity of KarrathaRed Earth Arts Centre
Tom PriceNintirri CentreTom Price Art & Cultural Centre
RoebourneJulwarlu
RoebourneRoebourne Art GroupRoebourne Art Gallery
BalgoWarlayirti Artists

Gascoyne Region
ExmouthExmouth Art & Cultural GroupExmouth Art & Cultural Centre

Mid-West Region
CarnamahNorth Midlands ProjectThe Bank Gallery
CarnamahCarnamah Historical Society
GeraldtonACDC GeraldtonACDC Gallery
GeraldtonCity of GeraldtonGeraldton Regional Art Gallery
NorthamptonNorthampton Old School

Goldfields Region
KambaldaKambalda Art & Cultural GroupKambalda Art & Cultural Group
KalgoorlieArtgold
EsperanceCannery Arts CentreCannery Arts Centre
RavensthorpeRavensthorpe Regional Arts
EsperanceEsperance Community Arts
BlackstonePapulankatja Artists
LeonoraWalkatjurra Arts

Wheatbelt Region
NarroginArts NarroginNexis Gallery
Lake GraceLake Grace ArtistsLake Grace Artspace
KatanningShire of KatanningKatanning Art Gallery
BoddingtonBoddington Community Resource Centre
BeverleyBeverley Station ArtsBeverley Station Artspace
KellerberrinAurora Project Space

Peel Region
MandurahCity of MandurahAlcoa Mandurah Gallery
MandurahContemporary Art Spaces Mandurah

South West Region
NorthcliffeSouthern Forest ArtsPainted Tree Gallery
BunburyCity of BunburyBunbury Regional Arts Galleries
BusseltonCity of BusseltonArtGeo Cultural Complex
CollieCollie Art GalleryCollie Art Gallery
ManjimupShire of ManjimupManjimup Art Gallery
PembertonPemberton Art Group

Great Southern Region
DenmarkDenmark Arts
AlbanyCity of AlbanyVancouver Arts Centre
AlbanyMIX Artists Albany
Mount BarkerPlantagenet Arts CouncilMitchell House

PARTICIPATING REGIONALLY-BASED PEAK ARTS ORGANISATION

  • GalleriesWest

PARTICIPATING METRO-BASED PEAK ARTS ORGANISATIONS

  • Country Arts WA
  • Art on the Move
  • Disability and Disadvantage in the Arts (DADAA)
  • Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA (AACHWA)
  • Artsource
  • Propel Youth Arts
  • Museums Galleries Australia

FUNDING PARTNERS

Connect to the Creative Grid is one of three projects facilitated through the pilot round of the Regional Arts Partnership Program (RAPP). This program is supported by the State Government of WA, Country Arts WA and the Regional Arts Fund.

funding partner logos

Connect to the Creative Grid is also supported through the The Regional Arts Fund, an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional and remote Australia, administered in Western Australia by Country Arts WA.

Australian Government Regional Arts Fund

Connecting to the Creative Grid -project locations and activities map
Click here for pdf map

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In May 2017 Country Arts WA contracted Southern Forest Arts to coordinate the scoping of a co-creation project between 8 regional WA artists, 21 regional WA arts organisations and 6 Perth-based peak arts organisations to support the development of the WA regional visual arts sector.

This collaborative cluster was one of four projects funded through the pilot round of the Regional Arts Partnership Program (RAPP) with Creative Regions Program investment from The Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC).

The RAPP program was designed to shift the usual paradigm of relationships between artists, arts organisations and service providers.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

The RAPP visual arts cluster invited an additional 19 regional arts organisations to join the collaborative, bringing the total number of regional arts organisations to 40, comprised of:

  • 8 aboriginal art centres;
  • 10 Local Government Authorities;
  • 22 not for profit organisations.

This represents a diverse mix of arts organisations (from the well-resourced to the under-resourced), managing 29 exhibition venues and a broad variety of arts programs, based in 33 communities stretched across 2.64 million square kilometres of rural, regional and remote WA landscape.

Self-branded as 'The Creative Grid', this name references the interweaving of diverse elements into a strong, functional and dynamic unit. It symbolises the many points of arts activity occurring across the State's vast geography and the capacity for energy generation when inter-connected.

Collaboratively, The Creative Grid formed an integrated system of activities that would develop the regional visual arts sector and enliven regional WA communities.

The Project Plan was assessed by staff from Country Arts WA & Culture & the Arts WA in July 2017. It was later peer-assessed by members of the other RAPP clusters, prior to further funds being approved for implementation.

PROJECT RATIONALE

During four months of conversation, meetings, surveys & correspondence Creative Grid members and partners identified the following issues affecting the regional visual arts sector:

  1. professional isolation;
  2. inadequate access to professional development;
  3. weak profile of regional artists, arts organisations & activities in metropolitan Perth and beyond;
  4. need for audience development;
  5. desire to increase community engagement

Utilising the power of the collaborative to share resources & expertise, Connect to the Grid will address each of these issues in one or more of the project's nine activity pathways.

Project objectives are:

  1. increased industry networking - through participation in collaborative activity;
  2. increased access to professional skills, advice, resources - through mentorships, internships, workshops & resources that optimise industry standards;
  3. increased, inclusive & diverse audiences - through advice, resources & training;
  4. increased profile of regional artists/organisation/activities - through promotion of success stories & strategic artwork development & presentation;
  5. increased choice, range and access to arts opportunities - through an audacious series of inter-connected events & activities.

None of these are currently available on a systematic or comprehensive scale within regional WA. They will lead to:

  1. capability & capacity building among individual artists & arts organisations;
  2. resulting in increased sustainability of regional arts practice;
  3. resulting in increased economic, social & cultural vibrancy for participating regional communities.

Project Activities

  1. FACILITATING REGIONAL EXHIBITION EXCHANGE NETWORK

    Establishment of a framework to facilitate the exchange of (locally produced) exhibitions between regional exhibition venues (providing unprecedented access for smaller organisations and communities to intra-regional art/cultural exchange and providing artists with access to new audiences). This will be achieved by combining resources developed through the project’s Resource Toolkits pathway and expansion of the Galleries West website.

  2. PROVIDING INSPIRATION THROUGH ARTSPIRATION MINI-DOCS

    The profile of regional artists, arts professionals and arts organisations will be raised through the development and presentation of the Artspiration series of 14 stories showcasing regional arts excellence. Each ten minute vignette will be presented by a different artist, arts professional or arts organisation, from a range of locations across the state, encompassing diverse approaches to art making and art sharing. Produced by Albany film-makers, Greenman Media, the series will be screened nationally and available as online videos (through the Galleries West and Country Arts WA websites). Participating artists and organisations will also have license to use the material for their own promotion and advocacy purposes.

  3. SUPPORTING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WORKSHOPS

    8 Professional Development training workshops will be held in 7 of WA’s 9 regions. Presented by industry experts each session will explore a different approach to creating more sustainable and vibrant arts practices, arts organisations and communities. Each host organisation has identified the focus issue for their region. Sessions include:

    • "Telling Our Stories" - Art on the Move & Museums Galleries WA (Albany);
    • "Amplifying Youth Audiences" - Propel Youth Arts (Geraldton & Esperance);

  4. NURTURING CREATIVITY WITH MENTORSHIPS & INTERNSHIPS

    Up to 100 regional arts practitioners will benefit from project mentorships that connect emerging WA artists & arts professionals to the wisdom, skills and networks of Mentors. Mentorships include: 15 exhibition artist mentorships, 5 public art mentorships, 15 photography/filmmaker mentorships and 15 curator mentorships.

    12 internships offered by 3 of the state’s key regional galleries will provide 12 short-term placements to up-skill representatives from smaller organisations in various aspects of gallery operation (including programming, audience development, exhibition installation and collection management).

  5. ACTIVATING EXHIBITION VENUES

    Activation of 22 venues in 22 regional communities through the most extensive series of inter-connected exhibitions ever undertaken with WA includes: 15 group and 15 solo exhibitions.

    The group shows will respond to an over-arching theme “The Alternative Archive’ developed by Lead Curator, Anna Louise Richardson. Planning is currently underway to deliver a range of innovative audience development and community engagement opportunities.

  6. ENERGISING PUBLIC SPACE

    The commissioning of a series of small-scale and/or ephemeral artworks to art-activate public space within 10 regional communities. These will explore and celebrate a sense of place and belonging.

  7. ENGAGING COMMUNITIES

    The active participation of an estimated 2000+ residents in 129+ artist talks, workshops, school incursions/excursions and other activities linked to the project’s exhibitions and public artworks across 24 regional communities.

  8. SHARING RESOURCES

    A targeted number of best-practice document templates will be developed and shared among Grid members.

  9. STRENGTHENING THE REGIONAL ARTS NETWORK

    Through weekly email and social media updates and online platforms that facilitate shared conversation the network among participating regional organisations and their metro counterparts will be strengthened.