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:
‘Wellness champions’ - 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)
‘Exchanging resources, skills and ideas’ - by David Bowman-Bright (North Midlands Project) TBC
‘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 Chad Creighton (AACHWA) and Ron Bradfield.
Other suggestions include:
Sector innovation, developing new ways of working
How do regional artists gain exposure for their work outside of their region? (beyond social media)
How do regional artists gain access to professional development opportunities to grow and sustain their practice?
Educating the next generation - Connecting regional based arts teachers together when the education system doesn’t support an exchange or advocacy network
It is anticipated that sessions will be held fortnightly and for an hour in length. We will explore options for smaller breakout rooms to hold deeper conversations in a more intimate context.
A six part podcast series - featuring 30+ contributors - will be developed, edited and uploaded by the Project Coordinator, with feature interviews from a wide range of regional artists, arts workers and arts org representatives exploring diverse topics. Topics have been nominated through the Scoping survey process and intersect with zoom conversations.
Details of topics and interviewees are yet to be finalised, suggestions include:
‘Create your own paradigm’ - artists working in unique ways. Including observations from musicians, The Nomadics (Bec Schofield and Dave Mann).
‘Your postcode doesn’t define you’ - a selection of regional artists share their experiences on developing state, national and international career trajectories including opera singer Matt Ward, musician Charlie McGee, author Dianne Wolfer.
‘Wisdom Bank’ - a distillation of knowledge from some of the sector’s most experienced practitioners including Gwen Knox (Broome based puppeteer) and Annette Davis (Albany based visual artist and curator).
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.
Event facilitators are still in negotiation, in many cases they will be drawn from the local community or intersected with concurred projects. Confirmed facilitators include Ron Bradfield and Margaret Seares.
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:
- Kimberley #1 - Kununurra (Waringarri Aboriginal Arts)
- Pilbara #1 - Karratha - Carrie McDowell (hosted by Red Earth Arts Precinct)
- Pilbara #2 - Tom Price - Yola Bakker (hosted by Tom Price Art Hub)
- Gascoyne #1 - Carnarvon - Janine Oxenham (Hosted by City of Carnarvon)
- Gascoyne #2 - TBC
- Midwest #1 - Geraldton - Rebecca Millar (hosted by Geraldton Regional Art Gallery
- Midwest #2 - Carnamah - Julian Canny & Jody Quadrio (hosted by North Midlands Project & Euphorium)
- Wheatbelt #1 - Narrogin - Annette Carmichael (hosted by Arts Narrogin)
- Wheatbelt #2 - Merredin (Meridian Regional Arts)
- Goldfields #1 - Kalgoorlie - Deb Carmody (hosted by Tjuma Pulka)
- Goldfields #2 - Esperance - TBC (hosted by Cannery Arts Centre)
- Great Southern #1 - Albany - TBC (hosted by Vancouver Arts Centre)
- Great Southern #2 - Albany (hosted by Southern Edge Arts)
- South West #1 - Bunbury - Fiona DeGaris (hosted by Bunny Regional Entertainment Centre & Bunbury Regional Art Gallery)
- South West #2 - Margaret River - Adelina Larssen (hosted by Creative Corner)
- Peel #1 - Mandurah - TBC (hosted by Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah)
- Peel # 2 - Mandurah - (hosted by Riptide)