Innovative Small Arts Projects Set To Lift Community Spirits

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The Colac Otway Shire community is set to catch dreams, create a 1000-piece origami installation, host a mini music festival and celebrate street theatre, among an exciting list of Council-supported art projects to revive our post-COVID spirit.

Colac Otway Shire Council Chief Executive Peter Brown has congratulated the eight successful applicants who will receive up to $3000 for their creative initiatives through Colac Otway Shire Council’s Small Arts Project Grants program.

“The Small Arts Project Grants are part of Colac Otway Shire’s $950K COVID Support Package, which aims to provide an economic stimulus and assist the community and businesses through COVID recovery.

“The program offered up to $3000 to support local creatives with a matching contribution from the applicant on a dollar-for-dollar cash or in-kind basis.

“Colac Otway Shire has a diverse and rapidly growing arts community with innovative ideas and skills; and we were confident of receiving great proposals which would deliver a mix of unique activities to engage the wider community.

“I would like to thank the applicants for thinking outside the box and acknowledge the time and effort involved in developing these project ideas which will lift community spirits and have also met the brief of complying with COVID19 restrictions.

“I encourage as many people as possible to be actively involved, and as a shire, I’m sure we will look forward to seeing these projects come to life.”

Successful applicants and projects include:

Barking Spider Visual Theatre will receive $3,000 to present Object Monologues

Imagine they could talk, what would Colac’s landmarks have to say? A series of sound works will be created, telling stories and anecdotes local people share through a call out on social media. Local community members will be trained in voice over and character casting and will become the voices of the landmarks. The podcasts for the ‘monologues’ will be uploaded to the Echoes App and if you pass these objects, and have the app, you will be able to hear their stories as often as you wish.

Gellibrand Community House will receive $2,752 to present Catching Dreams

In Gellibrand ‘dreams have been on hold’ during COVID. This project will give residents hope of recapturing their dreams and for as many residents that want to, to be involved in having fun creating a dreamcatcher. Volunteer champions from the Gellibrand Community House will assemble dreamcatcher kits, complete with instructions, so that dreamcatchers can adorn fences, trees and gates across the Gellibrand and Kawarren townships. Supported by COVID safe workshops, children and adults alike will be involved.

Colac Makers Space will receive $2,068 to present SWEET

A SWEET Online Youth Art Exhibition will be held to celebrate the art of the children and youth of the Colac Otway created in ‘lockdown’. All art works will then be published in a 2021 calendar, as 13 collages, and presented to each child who contributed art works. Friends, family and community will be able to see the visions of hope and joy captured by their amazing artworks. This exhibition will be hosted on the Colac Makers Space website.

Conservation Ecology Centre will receive $2,997 to present Protected

Around 1,000 Origami figures will be created by the Colac Otway Shire community and assembled in an installation that represents the protected species of the Great Otway National Park. Community will be invited to get involved and a kit to make the origami protected species will be distributed widely. The installation will be displayed at Wildlife Wonders in Apollo Bay, supported by the Conservation Ecology Centre, and open free to the public.

Forrest & District Neighbourhood House will receive $2,800 to present the Studio Forrest Window Space

A permanent window display space will be created at the Forrest Public Hall to showcase a rotating exhibition of local artists and artworks for community appreciation. Passers-by and visitors to the town will be able to discover and buy ‘hidden jewels’ and experience the creativity of the town. Well-known Studio Forrest artists and school students will be featured in exhibitions, with the inaugural exhibition being an ‘out my window’ theme. The community, including school students, will be involved in designing the window space.

WildHoney Performing Arts will receive $2,900 to present The Chimera and the Wishing Tree

The Chimera and the Wishing Tree creature will be a street theatre performance that will be live-streamed, spreading a message of transformation and hope as it moves down Murray Street, ending in Memorial Square, Colac. You will be able to watch the stilt walker performing and engaging with local shops and traders, in stunning costume, live-streamed on Facebook and available digitally for distribution afterward for those who miss it. Children from St Mary’s School will tie red wishing ribbons to a tree, with messages of hope, in Memorial Square as part of the performance.

Birregurra Community Arts Group will receive $2,310 to present The Power of Music

A mini music festival will be filmed in the Birregurra Mechanics Hall and be available free and online for the community to enjoy. It will be a chance for local musicians to showcase their talents, including the Red Violets. Also featured will be creation of a mural art installation, with music at its heart, that will be donated to the Birre Arts Group for exhibition. This concert will provide a bridge between the annual Birregurra Festival, which was unable to be held this year due to COVID restrictions.

Glance Twice Studios will receive $1,173 to present Giving the Gift of Glass

Artist Margaret Smith of Glance Twice Studios in Apollo Bay will produce unique small glass art pieces and gift them to community groups. This grant will provide the materials to create at least 20 small art pieces. Community groups will be able to use these art works as fundraisers, or spread some joy by gifting them to vulnerable community members.

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