The value of the arts as a means of creating connections within a community is getting a lot of attention across a variety of sectors.
The process of moving ‘art’ from an individual to a collective experience is different for every community.
Narrow views of the arts are expanding as the language of community arts becomes more familiar and people become more comfortable about getting involved.
My own creative journey was focused on writing and poetry, drawing me into a world that used language to describe my experience of life, but, as I discovered, it was not something that was easily shared.
It has been my involvement with community arts projects over the years that has allowed me to be a part of creative communities that form around these projects.
What I discovered is that, even though you move onto other projects, over time you become part of a broader creative community.
This gives you the opportunity to develop a range of skills by being with, and working with, other people, by being able to step into community activities and events with ease.
I have worked with many people on different projects over the years.
These are skills that can be used in so many other aspects of life and that benefit the community as well.
The new Samba Drumming group is a great example of this.
After working together on an community arts project over some months, culminating in a public performance over the Easter weekend, this group has decided to stay together and will work on public performances at other community events.
The Seniors Theatre group, ‘Super Troupers’, is another group who formed in 2004 and are about to present their 14th Show with 3 performances from the 11th to the 13th May at the Bijou Theatre.
With a cast of over 25 and plus a production crew of 10 this very upbeat show, co-directed by Margot Siemer and Kath Bowering, creates the opportunity for people over the age of 50 to learn about, and get involved in, theatre with experienced performers able to encourage and support others to develop skills and to make social connections.
While the end result of some of the community arts projects may be as big as a Festival of the Wind or as informal as a small craft group, it is the development of friendships, new skills and a shared understanding of the community that are the lasting legacy; knowing that together we can achieve so much more and that anything is possible.
There are a number of community arts projects coming up over the coming months.
The exhibition ‘Glady’s Hudson, a Creative Life’ will be on show in the Esperance Community Arts space from the 5th of May.
Esperance Community Arts has also commenced work on the development of the Esperance Arts and Culture Trail with the appointment of new project manager Lana Ostle.
The Didgeridoo Project, run in partnership with Clontarf and Escare Incorporated, will continue over the next month; the Act-Belong-Commit Mosaic project at Nulsen Primary School, Act-Belong-Commit No Lights No Lycra Youth Engagement Project and the Act-Belong-Commit Poetry to Performance Project, including both high schools, are also being delivered in partnership with Esperance Community Arts over the next 2 months
If you or your group have a project in mind, we may be able to help you shape your ideas or connect you to a community partner or to a grant funding opportunity so that you can make it happen.
For more information about upcoming events and activities contact Esperance Community Arts on 9072 1158, message us on Facebook, email us - firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 67 Dempster street from 10am -2pm Tuesday - Friday. You can also visit our website (http://esperancecommunityarts.org.au/ ) and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.