Events help art grow and unite community | column

Samba Drumming workshop at Esperance Community Arts Space with the Sambanistas. Photo by Tony Connor
Samba Drumming workshop at Esperance Community Arts Space with the Sambanistas. Photo by Tony Connor

The Arts are such a big part of our community. It would be hard to imagine living in Esperance without the many creative events and activities we have grown to love and enjoy.

We also have opportunities to participate actively in projects that connect us to other people in the community and allow us to learn new skills, share ideas and be a part of something that we could not achieve on our own. This is sometimes referred to as “Community Arts”. Many events and activities incorporate ways to be part of the audience, to participate in co-creation and to showcase the work of professional artists. The Festival of the Wind is a great example of this. Community Arts is a broad brush, focusing on creative processes, participation and community development and artistic outcomes. Community Arts projects are, by their very nature, less predictable than the arts practice of individual artists. Creative partnerships ebb and flow around what is happening in the community, who is available to support projects, and who turns up to participate.

Part of the role of Esperance Community Arts has been to work with the whole community, individuals, community groups, agencies and with the three layers of government to provide information, access to resources and encouragement to bring ideas to fruition and to nurture and facilitate creative partnerships. This week we hosted Perth Samba Band, the Sambanistas, in partnership with the Esperance Drumming Group, as part of the Act-Belong- Commit Drumming Project, funded by Healthway. This is an example of how we can support a local group to implement an inclusive project with state government funding that promotes health and wellbeing, whilst also providing professional development for local musicians.

Sambanistas parading to the Soundshell on Sunday night, Oct 1st. Photo by Tony Connor

Sambanistas parading to the Soundshell on Sunday night, Oct 1st. Photo by Tony Connor

Another example of our community arts practice is the Esperance Yarning Healing Dolls exhibition, which opens in a pop-up gallery on 2 James Street on October 19. This is a culmination of a year long partnership with Escare Inc, funded by Lotterywest and Culture and Arts WA, to bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents together to work with Noongar artists from Narrogin, Geri Hayden, Marcelle Riley, to learn doll-making, ecodyeing and basket making techniques. Stay in touch with the local arts community through social media, the monthly e-newsletter, or visit the Esperance Community Arts Space Tuesday to Friday from 10am – 2pm. If you have skills to share or some time to volunteer you can register your interest. For more information contact 9072 1158, email admin@esperanecommunityarts.org.au, visit our website or message us on Facebook or Instagram.