Reflecting on the 2018 Exchange
Written by Doone McAlary
In October Country Arts WA brought people together from across Western Australia to learn, share and celebrate over two-and-a-half days.
This year we converged once again on Mandurah from 22-24 October for the eighth Exchange, including:
- 22 members
- Representation from 12 arts and cultural organisations
- Participants from eight regions of Western Australia, including the Indian Ocean Territories, with the ninth (Peel) playing host
The 2018 program was created from topics that were voted on by organisations receiving Regional Arts Sector Investment or Regional Arts Legacy Grants funding. Topics included organisational health, community leadership, talent management and project management with presentations from Patrick Moriarty (Our Community), Jill Brown (Community Arts Network), Leila Morgenroth (Hudson), Julian Canny (Euphorium Creative) and Ruben Wills (E13).
Time was also allocated for a roundtable conversation coordinated by Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council Chair Ainsley Foulds. This session generated lively conversation around the triumphs and concerns faced by organisations and individuals pursuing arts and cultural activities in regional communities. This conversation thread carried through over breakfast breaks, tea breaks, lunch breaks, dinner breaks, and (I know for certain) in some instances even pre-sleep breaks!
This year we welcomed the coordinators from our Regional Arts Hubs: Goolarri Media, Nintirri Centre, Arts Narrogin, and Creative Corner. There are currently four hubs and within five years a hub network will criss-cross the State. This initiative will make regional voices louder and stronger, and direct Country Arts WA’s focus.
The success of the 2018 Exchange, as with the previous seven, owes everything to the presence and input of those in the room and their generosity of time; with their thoughtful contributions, deep knowledge, considerable experience, patience, humour, and overwhelming commitment to and love of regional Western Australia and the arts sector.
…and amongst all this talking was a great lot of laughter and joy.
The Exchange 2018 was funded through Creative Regions. The State Government’s Creative Regions Program $24 million investment resulted from a clear and strong demand from the regional arts sector, where Country Arts WA led the advocacy campaign calling for a tangible and public commitment to regional arts.