Stage 2 - Overview
'Connection' activities occur over 22 weeks from 25th January to 30th June, 2021.
This stage focuses upon a series of conversation-based activities across multiple platforms to create an increased sense of community across the sector as it faces the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic - and other (current and future) threats.
‘Connection’ nurtures trust, facilitates the exchange of ideas, expertise and support between members of the Mycelium network .
The activities are sequenced so that sector connectivity grows over time, layer by layer, each project element dovetailing into another, providing an ever deepening complexity of the network from an initial focus upon online connection (eg. Zoom meetings) to an increasing emphasis on inter-person collaboration (eg. Creative Co-Labs).
Several elements of the project will be developed and delivered directly by the Project Coordinator (eg podcasts, zoom meetings, online forums, email updates) while others are delivered by a host organisation based ‘on the ground' (eg. Creative Co-Labs, networking events).
For activities delivered ‘on the ground’, hosts will be paid from project funds to cover labour and expenses (unless contributions are offered In Kind).
‘Connection' activities complement existing services delivered by WA's peak organisations (such as Regional Arts WA’s hub network and regional roundtables) and regional organisations’ own annual programs.
‘Connection' will increase awareness about who is in the sector, what they are doing, what is working, what could be done better and how doing things collaboratively could make the sector stronger.
Some of the discussions during this stage will inform the nature of - and provide the conceptual focus for - activities in the following two project stages in relation to a large-scale collaboration on the development of a pilot model for an ongoing regional arts triennial (‘festival’) that stretches across the state, based upon a single provocation/curatorial theme.
Thanks to our funding partners (Lotterywest, The State Government of Western Australia, Regional Arts WA and the Federal Government) Stage 2 has been fully funded.
Many details in this stage are still being finalised and will be published here ASAP.
Proposed activities include:
12 x Zoom forums with discussions on a range of topics nominated through project scoping surveys and other inquiry processes. Each session will include a presentation by a guest facilitator followed by a generous Q & A session/general discussion. Some topics have already been finalised, with facilitators nominated. Dates and times will be determined in early 2021). The following topics are in the very early stage of development. Working titles are provided as a guidelines, but will likely change, including:
‘Self Care for Artists’ - self care for artists and arts workers by Scotia Monkovitch (Creative Recovery Network) TBC
‘Collaboration - the pitfalls and pleasures’ - by Annette Carmichael (freelance choreographer and CACD practitioner)
‘Arts interacting with government’ - by Margaret Seares
‘Exploring models for sustainable arts organisations’ - by Julian Canny (Business Development -Euphorium)
‘Ask me Anything - behind the scenes at North Midlands Project’ - by David Bowman-Bright (North Midlands Project)
‘Exploring professional pathways for regional visual artists in the current gallery context’ - by Ted Snell (Honorary Professor, School of Arts & Humanities, Edith Cowan University) and Joanne Baitz (Director, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery)
‘Art Improves Lives - Increasing community perception of the value of the arts’ - looking at social impact of the arts and advocacy - by Shelagh Magadza (Chamber of Arts and Culture) TBC and Jody Quadrio (Euphorium Creative)
‘Skin in the Game - Indigenous and non-Indigenous creatives working together ‘ - by Ron Bradfield.
- 'The Mother Lode' - by Leah Rakbundel
- 'Exploring the Regional Arts Triennial' - with Fiona Sinclair
It is anticipated that sessions will be an hour in length.
A six part podcast series - featuring 10+ contributors - will be developed, edited and uploaded by the Project Coordinator, with feature interviews from a range of regional artists, arts workers and arts org representatives exploring diverse experiences.
The majority of podcasts will be in the style of a long-form interview. Participating practitioners include:
- Deb Carmody - Indigenous writer, film-maker, media director (Goldfields)
- Charlie McGee - musician (Great Southern)
- Abdul-Rahman Abdullah - sculptor (Peel)
- Charmain Green - poet, writer, painter, activist (Mid-West)
- Naomie Hatherley - visual artist, educator (Kimberley)
- Sarah Drummond - author (South West)
A podcast on The Alternative Archive exhibition series and survey is also in development.
VISIBILITY & VOICE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Regular social media postings by the Project Coordinator will highlight activities across the regions, link in with promotion undertaken by other regional and metro orgs and provide a platform for the project’s video diary.
12 x fortnightly email project updates including info on upcoming activity and a changing cast of featured artists and arts orgs will help connect the sector in a conversation thread across the duration of the project stage.
PROJECT VIDEO DIARY
30+ short videos will be created and shared by artists/organisations to showcase their work/organisation/venue. These will form a ‘video diary’ of the project and can be a useful archive of the project overall as a record of project evolution.
COMMISSIONED BLOG POSTS
To increase critical dialogue around the attributes, health and sustainability of the sector 10 Blog posts will be commissioned from diverse regional artists and artsworkers & posted online. These will present a range of viewpoints and allow more contemplative reflection of the current state of the sector. Topics for discussions are still to be finalised, as are the commissioned authors. Current proposal include:
‘Why Can’t We Talk about Art?’ by Daniela Palitos and Jenny Barr (editors of a new online art journal, Local Art Paper https://localartpaper.com)
Online forum – for online discussion in response to blog posts, podcast and other project activity allowing for de-centralised project feedback/discussion
INTENSIVE LEARNING CONVERSATIONS
‘One on one’ intensive learning conversations conducted by the Project Coordinator with representatives from arts orgs & independent practitioners to gauge project progress and provide in depth insight for shared learning.
36 X networking events (4 per region) - delivered by a local host organisation facilitated by a range of independent facilitators. Where possible these sessions add value to an organisations existing programs and support current networking practices. Proposed payments of $600 per event to participating organisations will support them to undertake a connection gathering where they choose to focus upon either increasing connection with others arts organisations in their region (as it is common story that arts organisations often coexist but less frequently cooperate or collaborate) or to connect artists in their area together outside of art form specific mindsets.
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts and AACHWA, Kununurra
Kimberley Arts Network, Broome
Wyndam Arts, Wyndham
Other host organisation TBC
Junction Co, Karratha
Junction Co - Port Hedland
Carnarvon Art Gallery & Public Library, Carnarvon
Gwoonwardu Cultural Centre, Carnarvon
Gascoyne in May, Carnarvon
Exmouth Arts & Cultural centre (TBC)
Northampton Old School Community Initiative
Other host organisations TBC
Esperance Community Arts, Esperance
Kambalda Cultural Arts Centre, Kambalda
Other host organisation TBC
Meridian Arts, Merredin
Lake Grace Artists, Lake Grace
Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah
Lost Eden Creative, Dwellingup
City of Mandurah
Creative Corner, Margaret River
Blackwood Creative, Bridgetown
Stirling Street Arts Centre, Bunbury
Other host organisation TBC
Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany
Denmark Arts, Denmark
Plantagenet Arts Council
18 Creative Co-Labs delivered by a local host organisation, two per region. These two half-day or one full-day events will bring creative practitioners across art forms together in a safe space for the exploration of new connections and future collaborations. Each event will be facilitated by an experienced practitioner. In many cases the facilitator is a local professional with sufficient experience working across art form or CACD practice. In some instances, the host organisation has requested a facilitator from out of the region to bring a new perspective, new idea and insight into the region.
The facilitators will participate in an online forum prior to the Co-Labs allowing for sharing of ideas about how they each intend to approach the Co-Lab. A follow up Zoom discussion after the Co-Labs will once again allow for shared learning. Notes from these sessions will be shared more broadly with the sector.
There is no intended tangible ‘output’ from these Co-Labs, other than a focus upon the building of connections between individuals to encourage ongoing support and exchange leading to possible future collaborations. These intensive sessions will allow a deeper level of conversation and engagement than other elements of the Mycelium project.
The Co-Labs also allow for discussion around themes/issues or current relevance to the local/regional community. These can then be shared across the Mycelium network to identify commonalities between regions that inform a larger conversation around a unifying thread for the proposed inaugural regional Arts Triennial.
Participants will determine the level of feedback available from the session that can be shared with the broader Mycelium network.
Participants will pay to attend the Co-Labs. Facilitators will be paid at industry rates for their time and travel. Host organisations will provide venue, accommodation and local transport as required.
Co Lab facilitators and host organisations include:
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, Kununurra (Facilitator still TBC)
Kimberley Arts Network, Broome (Facilitator still TBC)
Junction Co, Karratha (Facilitator - Carrie McDowell)
Tom Price Arts Hub, Tom Price (Facilitator - Yola Bakker)
Carnarvon Art Gallery & Public Library, Carnarvon (Facilitator - Janine Oxenham)
Other host organisation & facilitator TBC
North Midlands Project, Carnamah (Facilitator/s - Jody Quadrio/Julian Canny)
Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, Geraldton (Facilitator still TBC)
Tjuma Pulka First Nations Media, Kalgoorlie (Facilitator Deb Carmody)
Cannery Arts Centre, Esperance (Facilitator still TBC)
Meridian Arts, Merredin (Facilitator still TBC)
Arts Narrogin Narrogin, (Facilitator Annette Carmichael)
Riptide, Mandurah (Facilitator still TBC)
Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (Facilitator still TBC)
Creative Corner, Margaret River (Facilitator still TBC)
Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre (Facilitator Fiona de Garis)
Mix Artist Albany, Albany (Facilitator Barbie Greenshields TBC)
Southern Edge Arts, Albany (Facilitator still TBC)