Showcase & Community Presenter Meeting
Written by Philippa Maughan
The Touring team was delighted to host representatives of seven community presenter organisations to network with each other, discuss touring challenges and aspirations for community presenters and to attend WA Showcase.
Attendees included Cait Stewart, Arts Narrogin; Lavinia Roser, Boddington Community Resource Centre; Ruth Lee, Cue Community Resource Centre & Kim Ryan, Shire of Cue; David Marshall, Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre; Joanna Wilkie, Karingal Neighbourhood Centre; Ainsley Foulds, Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Centre; and Amy Kuchel, Shire of Katanning.
Discussion focussed on having strategies to present shows that communities want to see but seeking out surprises as well; looking at strategies to avoid volunteer burnout; using unexpected ways to promote shows; strategies to involve the wider community in the selection of shows as well as seeking tips from Country Arts WA and each other about the nuts and bolts of presenting.
At WA Showcase the presenters watched Western Australian producers pitch their work for potential touring opportunities and participated in Lisa Baxter’s workshops. With a focus on understanding the experience of audiences from when they arrive at an event until they leave and on how to make the greatest arts impact on a community without draining the emotional resources of volunteers and staff, the workshop sessions were illuminating for everyone.
It was a great three days with much learning and inspiration. Thank you to Cait, Lavinia, Ruth, Kim, David, Jo, Ainsley and Amy for contributing so generously to the discussion. Thank you also to CircuitWest for hosting WA Showcase and the Department of Culture and the Arts for providing the funding to support the presenters to attend.
We look forward to building on the ideas discussed at the Community Presenter Development Pilot to assist community presenters throughout the state.