Esperance Community Arts column

Holiday fun: The Mandaboornap Walitj (eagles) watch over Madison Riley during her work experience at Esperance Community Arts Space. Photo: Jane Mulcock.
Holiday fun: The Mandaboornap Walitj (eagles) watch over Madison Riley during her work experience at Esperance Community Arts Space. Photo: Jane Mulcock.

The arts and community connections

Community and connection are well represented in the arts, through planned activities and events and through those more random points of contact that allow individuals to meet and creative ideas to develop and take shape.

When we talk about arts and community we consider this to be people who are directly involved in arts activities, but also those people who connect with, and experience, the arts as audience members.

There are many informal ways in which art connects individuals.

This can be as simple as talking about a public art piece like the whale tail sculpture for example.

There are also the more formalised ways these community connections happen through the work of organisations such as Esperance Community Arts, the Cannery Arts Centre, the Esperance Theatre Guild and the Esperance Music Festival, to name just a few.

What makes ‘the arts’ such a successful community connector?

Arts groups regularly participate in community events, such as the Christmas Pageant, events which provide opportunities to catch up with friends and acquaintances, to meet new people, to learn new skills without having to meet eligibility criteria and to find other people with similar interests, for example in writing or being part of a community choir.

Arts activities can take place in almost any type of venue, or out in the open, encouraging people to use community spaces, something the Festival of the Wind has done so well.

Arts groups are also very good at working in partnership and building strong community connections through collaboration over long periods of time.

Celebrating cultural heritage is another important way of creating ongoing community connections.

The Mandaboornap Dreaming Puppet Project and the giant eagles (walitj), currently residing in Esperance Community Arts Space are a good example.

So many visitors to the Space ask about the significance of the eagles and learn about the Nyungar story of how Mandaboornap (Frenchman’s Peak) was formed.

Arts and cultural events can also attract people who might not normally get involved with community groups.

Arts activities can create opportunities to participate and experience community as an individual, or an audience member, on the edge of, but still a part of, community life.

Arts groups are also very good at working in partnership and building strong community connections through collaboration over long periods of time.

Next time you go along to a show, are part of an arts or cultural event, or sing along at karaoke, think about how many other people you are connecting with and how different that experience might be without the arts, be it music, cinema, theatre, that brought you out.

For more information please contact Esperance Community Arts on 9072 1158, message us on Facebook, email us - admin@esperancecommunityarts.org.au 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.

A MESSAGE FROM ESPERANCE COMMUNITY ARTS:

Esperance Community Arts, as a supporter and partner of the Festival committee throughout its lifespan, acknowledges and applauds all the dedicated and creative committee members and event volunteers who have curated and delivered 10 festivals over 20 years.

The loss of this iconic arts and cultural event is a loss that will be felt by the whole community.

Esperance Community Arts acknowledges what a difficult decision this has been for the committee and thanks the current and past committees and coordinators for the magic they have created for the community.