Stage 3 - Overview
The impetus behind Stage 3 is the strong rationale for a state-wide initiative across art-forms that provides a tangible experience for organisations and individuals to work together towards a shared vision. During Stages 1 and 2 of Mycelium, this crystallised into an interest in developing an interconnected series of exhibitions and performances under the umbrella title of a Regional Arts Triennial.
The 2021-23 Regional Arts Triennial features a Curatorial Brief written by regionally-based curator, Annette Davis, in mid-2021, titled Open Borders .
Open Borders provides a significant promotional platform for contemporary regional art practice. Presenting new work to new audiences, challenges, inspires & emboldens. Taking art from the regions to the city reverses the dominant art touring paradigm. It positions the unique voice of regional experience central to the State’s cultural narrative.
Open Borders will engage the WA arts regional sector in a single conversation topic that is explored in any creative modality and reflects the unique perspectives of participating regional communities.
The model used in ‘The Alternative Archive’ exhibition series during the original Creative Grid project is this project's prototype.
A written framework for an ongoing 'Regional Exhibition Triennial' that is informed by the knowledge gained through the development and delivery of Open Borders drafted by SFA (during Stage 4) and peer reviewed. The final model will be scalable, replicable and sustainable. Distributed to project partners and industry stakeholders it provides the case study for dedicated ongoing funding.
Open Borders draws upon the strengths of the ambitious and successful ‘Connect to The Creative Grid’ project managed by Southern Forest Arts in 2017-19 utilising proven processes of co- design, mentorship and collaboration but expanded to include multi-artforms, access to new venues, audiences and communities.
By working in conjunction with metro-based peak organisations that service the regions (including Regional Arts WA, GalleriesWest and Art on the Move) Open Borders offers the opportunity to road-test ideas alongside other investigative tools as part of the process to build a business case to present to the State Treasury for designated future festival funding. If secured, this funding would provide a regular funding to commission new high quality artworks, presented to new audiences that enrich regional communities with regionally generated arts and culture experiences.
- During Stage 3 (October 21-June 22) 16 mentorships offered to 30 artworkers based in 25 communities across all 9 regions support 2 Lead Mentors, 9 Curator Mentees and 5 Producer Mentees to undertake 14 inter- connected Creative Developments.
- 120 regional artists receive fees to develop 9 group exhibitions & 5 performances (across any artform).
- 20+ arts organisations actively support production & prepare for presentation.
- Regular email updates to network
- Occasional zoom meetings to discuss topics of vision, progress, concern etc
- Regular social media updates on project progress
- Funding sought and secured
- Liaison between network members facilitated by Project Coordinator
- Ongoing communication with DLGSC, RAWA, CircuitWest and John Curtin Gallery (JCG) re development of business case for ongoing Regional Arts Triennial model
- Festival promotion
Stage 3 and 4 of Mycelium provides PD for regionally based creative practitioners along a mentorship pathway designed to be ongoing within the proposed Regional Arts Triennial framework. It offers multiple entry points and integrates learning resources and networks of project partners.
16 mentorships provide professional development for 30 artworkers based in 25 communities across all 9 regions. This consists of:
- 2 Lead mentorships
- Lead Curator receives guidance from Director of Visual Arts (John Curtin Gallery) The Lead Producer from Director of Performing Arts (Circuitwest)
- 9 Curator Mentorships
- 9 regional mentees receive guidance from 9 regional mentors to develop curatorial skill applied to the development of 9 group exhibitions (1 per region)
- 3 Producer Mentorships
- 3 regional mentees receive guidance from 5 regional mentors to develop production skill applied to the development of 3 performative works (in 5 regions)
The Mentorship Program provides the core support and PD structure for the Regional Arts Triennial. It delivers consistency and connectivity across all 14 creative developments within Stage 3 and 20+ regional and metro presentations within Stage 4.
Insight garnered throughout the project will be shared through the network, where learning from one mentorship can be applied to others, multiplying impact.
Open Borders series of 20 mentorships provides professional development that's personalised and relevant to the community in which the exhibition/performance is presented, benefitting not just the mentees but the mentees’ community.
Where possible (and appropriate) Open Borders mentors will have previously been mentees in the Connect to The Creative Grid project. In this way the festival model will build upon previous iterations, each reinforcing the skill gained as a mentee that becomes the confidence when imparted as a mentor.
Zoom sessions will allow project participants to share insights, resources and expertise to empower others.