Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured with West Darling Arts’ executive officer Cathy Farry during a visit a few years ago.
The Broken Hill arts sector has received a major boost in its recovery from COVID-19, with West Darling Arts awarded more than $300,000 to fund a range of contemporary arts and music projects which will culminate in a laneway festival in 2023.
This funding is a share of more than $20 million provided as part of the fifth batch of grants from the Federal Government’s $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said this $20 million in funding is especially important during such a difficult period for the sector.
“Demand for RISE funding has been significant since it opened last year. The latest funding will be allocated immediately to create more than 23,000 employment opportunities across the country,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Our commitment to these organisations will play an important part in rebuilding our local arts and entertainment sectors, and will assist in the long-term sustainability of cultural and creative organisations throughout the Parkes electorate.”
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the RISE Fund provides critical support for local arts organisations, helping local communities and economies to restart from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am pleased to announce that West Darling Arts has received $300,583 to launch the Gawler Laneway Arts and Music Festival (GLAMFest),” Mr Coulton said.
“GLAMFest will activate an historically significant laneway in Broken Hill’s CBD through a curated program of visual arts, digital-art projections, community arts and live music.
“This project will not only provide fantastic opportunities for local artists and musicians throughout 2022 and early 2023, but will inject much-needed tourism dollars into the Broken Hill economy when GLAMFest is held in 2023.
“It will bolster the economy, foster community pride and increase professional development opportunities for local creatives.”
West Darling Arts Project Officer Jo Crase said she is delighted that West Darling Arts has been successful in receiving this funding.
“This is a significant opportunity for Far West NSW that will provide much-needed employment in the arts for visual artists, musicians and creative producers alike,” Ms Crase said.
“The birthplace of BHP, Broken Hill has a rich and vibrant history incorporating mining, agriculture, early multiculturalism, social change and trade unionism, strong Barkandji living culture, and has been a continuous source of inspiration for visual artists and film and television for decades. This social and technological history is documented and lying dormant in our community collections.
“The project will be a great way to highlight the collections of national significance held in Broken Hill, including the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum, the Mosque Museum (built in 1887 this is the only surviving mosque built by Afghan cameleers in Australia), and Broken Hill Trades Hall collection.
“The project will result in a Laneway Festival during Heritage Week in 2023, and is expected to boost regional tourism and get people out and about again after COVID lockdowns.
“West Darling Arts is excited and extremely grateful to receive this substantial opportunity to strengthen our regional community through strong investment in cultural capital.”
To date, the Government has already allocated $160 million of the $200 million RISE Fund, creating more than 167,000 job opportunities and expanding cultural and creative experiences for audiences across Australia.
The Australian Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021- 22.