The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre
Future Funding Research Paper December 2011
Dr Mary Greig, Secretary
The purpose of this paper is two fold. One is to recount the historical strengths that have influenced and should continue to shape the functioning of the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre and its fund-raising activities. The second is to suggest fund-raising opportunities, partnerships and projects, which will best build on these strengths in order to meet the centre’s mission statement and strong commitment to The Lower Blue Mountains Community. The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre, established in1973, has achieved great success in developing the creative arts in the area of pottery, fibre, photography, lead-lighting, figure-drawing, woodwork and others. Community Development has also been through classes for school students, workshops and exhibitions. As the prime community arts organization in the Lower Blue Mountains, the BMCAC is eminently eligible to apply for funding under the Blue Mountains City Council Community Partnerships Program, Penrith City Community Partnerships Program and The Australia Council for the Arts Community Partnerships Program. Members of the BMCAC represent the villages of Winmalee, Warrimoo, Springwood, Mount River View, Blaxland, Glenbrook and Emu Plains in the Local Government Area of Blue Mountains City Council. The centre is located in the electorate of Lindsay, New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Exhibitions of the work of the artists of the BMCAC attract visitors from Sydney Metropolitan area, Penrith Valley, Hawkesbury as well as the villages and towns of the Blue
Funding from Blue Mountains City Council’s Cultural Partnerships Program
The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre is situated in Glenbrook one of the Lower Mountain villages in the Local Government Area of the Blue Mountains City Council, New South Wales. The BMCC serves 26 townships and villages across almost 100 kilometres of the Great Dividing Range. “The Blue Mountains City Council is committed to working in close partnership with the villages that form the community:- to preserve and enhance a City where quality and diversity of life are in harmony with the unique natural and built environment of the Blue Mountains: The City within a National Park”.
On 29 November 2000, the Greater Blue Mountains was announced as Australia's 14th World Heritage Area. World Heritage listing supported by all three tiers of government, set aside one million hectares of the Greater Blue Mountains area made up of seven outstanding National Parks as well as the famous Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve. These include Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks.
Members of the BMCAC, situated in Glenbrook and the Lower Blue Mountains National Park - a World Heritage site- have produced outstanding examples of artwork influenced by cultural, natural and / or mixed cultural and natural heritage. Funding is available from Blue Mountains Tourist Association for artistic and cultural projects that enhance the tourist experience. This would include Quilts of historical significance, Photography, Street Furniture, Open Air Sculpture and historical scene on Ceramic Wall for example.
Blue Mountains City Council’s Cultural Partnerships Program
BMCC Cultural Partnerships Program 2011 provided direct funding support to strengthen and develop the cultural and community capacity of the Blue Mountains. The program supports creative collaboration, innovation, and partnerships between the cultural sector, community and business and between communities and The National Parks and Wild Life Service,Australian Heritage Council and Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.
Projects funded in 2011 were mainly in performing arts:
Contemporary Aboriginal performance installation
A multi-artform performance installation developed through collaborative partnerships between Blue Mountains Aboriginal visual artists Erin Fry, Karen Maber and Graham-Davis King and local Aboriginal dancer/choreographers Jo Clancy, Becky Chatfield and Eric Avery, in partnership with Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre. The work will explore issues around the framing of Aboriginal culture and its impacts on Aboriginal artists and their work.
Live at the Village
Live at the Village is an eclectic series of high calibre world, jazz and contemporary music concerts featuring Blue Mountains and visiting musicians. The concerts are held in Springwood throughout the year, and include both ticketed and free community events.
Rain in the Mountains
Some song settings of Henry Lawson’s poetry
Local musicians from folk band Wheelers and Dealers will compose, arrange, record a CD and perform song settings for poems by Henry Lawson.
Renewable energy sound and light project
A site-specific sound and light project, powered by renewable energy and created by young and migrant residents in collaboration with local artists, and exhibited at the Lawson Festival in partnership with Shiney Pictures and Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre.
Loss and legacy making through art books
Local artists will develop art books and engage the community in an exploration of the experience of loss and bereavement through art making. The work will be presented to the public through Blue Mountains City Libraries.
When Phyto Meets Myrtle
Local circus performers Ruby Bloomers will partner with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and scientists and environmental agencies to develop characters and performances that engage and entertain the community while raising awareness about the interrelationship between human activities and ecological health.
Future BMCC Cultural Partnership funding information is available from:
Nicole Manning on (02) 4780 5631 or email: email@example.com
The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre is supported by a significant community of talented artists, practising in many art forms, including pottery and ceramics, fibre, figure drawing, photography, woodwork, literature, and multimedia. Centre activities and events such as classes for school age students, adult groups, weekend workshops and exhibitions add a unique creative dimension to the life of the Lower Blue Mountains. In 1996 this was acknowledged when the Blue Mountains City itself was nominated as the inaugural New South Wales City of the Arts and continues to be acknowledged by the prizes won by BMCAC members in many art forms at many events in the area.
All members of the BMCAC, who are practising artists would help to increase the profile of the BMCAC by listing under the Blue Mountains City Council Artists’ Register:
Regisration is voluntary under headings: Film/Video; Multi-media; Performing Arts; Literature; Visual Arts; and Urban Design and Public Art. Each listing provides contact information, links to appropriate websites, a statement by the artist, images, sound files and supporting literature.
Funding For Classes And Workshops for People with Special Needs.
BMCAC could attract funding for Classes And Workshops for People with Special Needs. Artists and workshop facilitators can gain skills from the Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN) Inc
Contact: Team Leader or Community Development Worker
Phone: 02 4759 3599 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Old Shire Offices, cnr San Jose Av and Loftus St, Lawson
In order to qualify for facilitating workshops for the disadvantaged and to be successful when applying for funding for classes and workshops aimed at specific sections of the community, BMCAC class teachers and facilitators need qualifications in skills for working with disadvantaged communities. MCRN provides facilitation, co-ordination, training and resources to management committees, artists for: People with Mental Illness; People with Disability; Migrants; and people with Intellectual Disabilities.
Australia Council for the Arts
On Friday 25 November I attended a workshop for local and non-local artists as well as for administrators and community practitioners on Funding Fundamentals organized by Penrith City Council. | Anjali Roberts, Cultural Development Officer | Neighbourhood Renewal Program | Penrith City Council organized the workshop. 02 4732 8098, 0423 295 001.
I learned about funding strategies with David Sudmalis, Director Community Partnership Funding, Australia Council for the Arts and Caroline Vu, Administrator of Art Support, Australia Council for the Arts. Caroline Vu mediates between private donors and Community Organisations to facilitate relevant, fruitful and satisfying relationships. Both Community Partnership Funding, and Art Support Funding places great weight on evidence of the following in proposals seeking funding for Artistic and Cultural Projects:
- close engagement with a specific community in the design of a project;
- a statement of well defined project outcomes beneficial for the community;
- a creative approach using multimedia to represent the history and identity of a community;
- good relationships between participating sections of a community;
- awareness of the existing cultural capital of a community.
- successful fund raising activities and funding from one other external source;
- a capacity to contribute to the costs of the proposed project ( in the form of work spaces, meeting rooms, artistic and administrative expertise and experience in community liaison). Particular emphasis is paid on how each proposal builds in evaluation processes for measuring stated project outcomes which benefit the community.
Proposed Action Plan for 2012
A. Survey of the Lower Blue Mountains Community
This is a suggested plan for a Survey Questionnaire for existing members, schools and residents of appropriate villages to ascertain the following:
1. Age, gender, ethnicity, artistic and/or cultural interests, qualification and interest in teaching classes, home postcode.
2.Feedback concerning present modes of advertising
How did you find out about BMCAC?
3. Community Awareness of present activities of BMCAC
Have you attended a class or workshop at BMCAC?
4. Data for Future Planning
Which future workshops would you attend and or recommend?
Would you support a Lower Blue Mountains Multimedia Project seeking funding from the Arts Council?
B. Workshop Program for 2012
Design a workshop program to generate skills required for a community project. The BMCC Register of Artists indicate a wide range of qualified teachers and facilitators who would like work.
C. Design a funding raising project for the Lower Blue Mountains Community facilitated by members of the BMCAC. Suggested theme and title for a project: Blue Mountains Breakthrough. This project would highlight the original breakthrough over the mountains, the breakthrough in Aboriginal/Settler partnerships, the breakthrough in successful relationships between different ethnic groups, migrants and local residents, the breakthrough in relationships between the able and disabled and the breakthrough in establishing the Blue Mountains as a World Heritage area including the Lower Blue Mountains.
Multi-media projects such as collection of local stories at focus groups held in the BMCAC, photographs taken with cameras distributed to local school students, street theatre, a ceramic tiled walkway made by local schools, bas-relief ceramic monument in the form of contemporary local people, a collage or tapestry of flora and fauna for Tourist Information Centre and landscape or figure paintings for local shops and cinema in Glenbrook, Blaxland, Mount River View, Springwood .
This will be a Cultural Arts and Community Development Project to build social capital in the Lower Blue Mountains through high quality multi media art works, performance events, and a cultural monument to represent contemporary cultural identity of the Lower Blue Mountains Community. The BMCAC practices and management processes have achieved a high level of community engagement and the centre has a capacity to reach into the Lower Blue Mountains Community to successfully complete a multifaceted project to enhance The Lower Blue Mountains as a place to live in and to visit.
The BMCAC has successfully initiated artistic partnerships with other Community Organisations such as The Blue Mountains Potters, The Nepean Potters and Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Foundation. All of these have lead to artistic, cultural development and aesthetic benefits for all parties. The BMCAC’s strength in partnership development can extend to include for example The Glenbrook Players and Blue Mountains Historical Society in Wentworth Falls , in order to enhance and extend artistic skills, access increased resources for workshops and support a membership drive.
The completion of a BMCAC Creative Arts and Community Development Project, Blue Mountains Breakthrough can establish The Lower Blue Mountains as a tourist destination instead of a gateway. It can also show it is a prosperous, culturally-enriched, safe place to live, learn, pray and play.
The Lower Blue Mountains comprises significant diversity in terms of residential, cultural and economic role and function. The upper mountains, including Wentworth Falls, Katoomba and Blackheath have large numbers of dwellings that are only occupied part time. These areas are generally outside commuting distance to major employment centres in western and central Sydney, and it assumed that the population growth will come from people in the retiree age groups. Villages in the Lower Mountains such as Blaxland, Glenbrook and Springwood have played more of a ‘suburban’ role in attracting young families, their access to employment in Western Sydney a key attribute. This is borne out by the sustained growth in class sizes for school student activities at BMCAC.
The BMCAC has a ‘catchment’ area that covers three local
government areas including Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury.
Over the next 10 to 12 years the population of the Blue Mountains City Council will grow very little.
Penrith City population will grow quite rapidly.
The BMCAC’s potential in the field of the Creative Arts and Community Development far exceeds its current position named at the
‘gateway’ to the Blue Mountains. The Lower Blue Mountains can lay claim to be a mature, vibrant, cosmopolitan area in its own right.
BMCAC can now promote its geographical position as an advantage. The M4 Highway, M2 and the M7 could now provide The Lower Blue Mountains with an important sense of arrival at Glenbrook. The BMCAC has competitive advantages to design a project which would attract funding for the creation of performance events, a ceramic monument and walkway and fibre collage to indicate the contemporary vitality , historical drama and natural wonders that distinguish the Lower Blue Mountains.