Regional arts orgs to see continued success through RASI

Regional arts orgs to see continued success through RASI

Jon Solmundson

The current Regional Arts Sector Investment (RASI) program will be extended for six-months until December 2020.

This is great news but we also wanted to take this chance to share some recent successes from the program.

Northampton Old School Community Initiative in the Mid West have just put the finishing touches on their incredible Skywalk project. Check it out!

The Skywalk Project. See more pics of the project coming together at the Northampton Old School Community Initiative Facebook page.

Program Coordinator Annette Sellers gave us her thoughts on the RASI extension;

It’s a great relief to have the extension of the RASI contracts for Regional Arts Organisations confirmed at this time when so much else is uncertain. In our case, the erosion of organisational support across all sources of funding has meant we have had to be very adaptable and to access project funding to deliver our Arts Project.

In our overall budget this allocation from RASI is a smaller, but vital contribution, because it is the only organisational funding we receive that we can use to meet governance and compliance standards. It’s the bread and butter funding that keeps the doors open with audited accounts and all our insurances covered to earn and seek funds through enterprise such as our emerging Ku’arlu Mangga (Good Nest) Aboriginal Art Centre, public art commissions such as the Kalbarri Skywalk Public Art ( a 2017 commission that required insurance for three years!), and our heartfelt cultural futures and school holiday programs with local Aboriginal children.

It also connects us to a team of advocates and peers who have seen our ups and downs over many years and endorse our courage to continue to innovate for both social and arts outcomes, despite the funding regimes giving us the message that we are only as good as our last very competitive grant fund for a project. People who take risks in their communities to nurture, build resilience, capacity, tolerance and creativity, also need these qualities in their own workplace experiences. We take this opportunity to thank and commend Regional Arts WA for its unstinting support and advocacy for the Regions.

Taking things a little further south: Earlier this year Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council organised for Sam Newman to return to the Goldfields-Esperance region, this time for a week – delivering electronic music production workshops to children from five towns; Munglinup (school partnership), Jerdacuttup (school partnership), Hopetoun (after school session attended in Ravensthorpe), Ravensthorpe (after school session), and Lake King (Saturday session). Students that participated in the in-school program were given opportunity to produce a video that complimented their song.

Although presented with some humour, themes from the Ravensthorpe District High School Students videos centered around drought, hard times and conflict.

MAKING NOISE in Ravensthorpe from Raveabout Arts on Vimeo.

RRAC noted this project and its themes were so significant because if children were feeling the pressures of regional adversity mentioned in their music videos, working creatively gave them an outlet to respond and gives them a voice to be heard.

According to The West Australian Association of Teachers Assistants Inc., one in five children have mental health problems. In the last 15 years, a 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted. There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10-14.

RRAC, as an organisation, continues to push for increased artistic opportunity regionally, and continues to partner with schools in their wider region so all children have the opportunity to participate in artistic programming.

These are just two examples of successful community arts projects from the dozens which RASI organisations coordinated throughout the state in the past few months. You can find more info about the RASI program and the organisations involved on our funding page here.


The Regional Arts Sector Investment program is made up of funding from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and through the Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program.

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