Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is pleased to announce more than $71,000 in Federal Government funding for the Pave the Way to Gular 2022 Festival. He is pictured in front of a mural by one of the previous Pave the Way to Gular artists, John Murray from Lightning Ridge.
The local arts and cultural sector in Gulargambone is set to be reignited, with the Gulargambone Community Enterprises Co-operative awarded more than $71,000 in Federal Government grants for the fourth annual Pave the Way to Gular Festival.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said Gulargambone Community Enterprises Co-operative has received $39,600 through the latest round of the Federal Government’s Festivals Australia program, as well as an additional $32,000 through the fifth batch of the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
“I’m pleased that the Federal Government is able to support the popular Pave the Way to Gular (PTWTG) street art festival, which has helped transform Gulargambone into a bright and colourful mural town since it began in 2018,” Mr Coulton said.
“Each year, artists from all over the country travel to Gulargambone to create murals on buildings, footpaths and the town’s water tower during the four-day festival. However, after three festivals, all practical sites for large murals in the main street have been exhausted.
“The funding provided through the Festivals Australia program will be used to construct three billboard-sized panels in the Jean Walker Park, adding another six surfaces for invited street artists to paint murals relating to the theme of the 2022 festival. The RISE grant will be used to fund the artists.
“This is a great initiative and exactly the type of project the Federal Government is proud to support – it will not only bring the community together and inject some much-needed tourism dollars into the Gulargambone economy during the 2022 festival, but will further cement the town as a mural mecca, helping to attract visitors year-round.”
Gulargambone Community Enterprises Co-operative Director Annie Haling thanked the Federal Government for its support and said a path meandering around the billboards will also be constructed in the park, budget permitting.
“PTWTG festivals are a great opportunity to show the community and audience how much public art can contribute to an area, both economically and socially,” Ms Haling said.
“The thing about public art is that the general public don’t need to have an interest in art, or be artistic themselves. Public art is a means of beautifying the streetscape and expressing the identity of place. It is about creating an attraction to bring people together to the town and region thereby generating a cashflow for local businesses.
“Our festival on 10 to 11 September 2022 will provide 13 artistic job opportunities for artists to display their skills, contribute to their income, provide a unique experience and contribute to our town’s economic activity.”
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said both the RISE and Festivals Australia funding is especially important during such a difficult period for the arts sector.
“The latest round of Festivals Australia funding will support 25 diverse festivals spanning music, theatre and visual arts – a strong reflection on Australia’s diverse arts sector which will help attract tourists and bring communities together,” Minister Fletcher said.
“We know that regional and remote artists, organisations and communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we’re continuing to deliver record financial assistance to support their recovery.
“Meanwhile, 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.
“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.”
The Federal Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector through a diverse range of programs in 2021-22.
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. For more information on the RISE Fund, visit: https://www.arts.gov.au/funding-and-support/rise-fund
The Festivals Australia program supports arts projects that invite community participation and audience engagement at festivals across the country. For more information on the Festivals Australia program, visit: http://www.arts.gov.au/festivals-australia