March 25, 2019
People interested in the South Burnett’s arts scene have been invited to get together and swap ideas at an informal meet’n’greet to be held in Wondai on Friday night.
Artists, musicians, singers, writers, woodworkers … in fact, anyone involved in creative pursuits in the South Burnett have been invited to come along.
The evening has been organised by South Burnett Arts Inc as a follow-up to the recent Creative Roundtable organised by the South Burnett Regional Council.
“The Creative Roundtable’s purpose was to discuss strategic issues holding back the growth of our region’s arts scene,” South Burnett Arts president Jane Iszlaub said.
“The purpose of our meet’n’greet is to have a more informal get-together where artists can discuss ideas and network with one another.
“We hope it will produce good ideas that can be taken to the next Creative Roundtable, and maybe some great projects which can be developed further.”
The Creative Roundtable, which was held at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery on February 28 was convened by Council’s arts portfolio chair Cr Danita Potter.
It was a follow-up to a public meeting held in Kingaroy Town Hall’s Supper Room last December which gathered feedback for Arts Queensland’s “10 Year Roadmap” for Queensland.
Council’s Creative Roundtable was attended by about 20 people from a dozen regional arts groups.
It explored how local arts groups communicate with one another and possible ways this could be improved.
The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) was also discussed.
Discussion centred around the fact that most of the region’s arts groups operate in “silos” at the moment, with negligible cross-promotion of each other’s events, and very few cross-specialty collaborations.
The development of a local arts database, more sharing of arts events among different groups’ social media pages and the creation of a local arts website were all advanced as possible ways this situation might be improved.
Another was to hold social meet’n’greets where artists could socialise and workshop ideas with their peers.
Cr Danita Potter and Senior Economic Development Officer Craig Tunley told the Roundtable meeting that based on population size, the maximum amount of RADF funding the Council could attract was $40,000 a year – $24,000 of this would be contributed by Arts Queensland and $16,000 by the Council under RADF’s 60/40 funding arrangement.
What stood in the way of achieving this was that in recent years not all Council’s RADF funding had been acquitted due to insufficient grant applications.
This unspent money was deducted from the following year’s RADF grant, which had led to the South Burnett receiving the lowest grant of any Queensland region – just $8000 – in 2018-19.
Attendees at the meeting suggested the root cause of this problem was that two years ago the Council had reduced the types of projects RADF would fund from five categories to two.
At the same time, Council also introduced a 50-50 funding rule where applicants had to fund half of any project themselves.
A possible solution to the lack of applications could be a return to the previous RADF system.
Cr Potter said she would take that information on board.
The South Burnett Arts Inc Meet’n’Greet will be held at Dimities Cottage in Haly Street, Wondai, on Friday (March 29) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.
Dimities’ kitchen will be offering an a la carte menu and guests are also welcome to BYO wine.
Council’s next Creative Roundtable will be held at Blackbutt in May at a venue to be announced.