In 2020, we welcomed every Western Australian region, with 175 delegates in all over 4 days.
Representatives attended from 33 towns and cities travelling up to 2500 km including presenters, producers, artists, visual arts people, student, service providers, local and state government, students, festivals, and everyone else connected to this great industry
What have we learnt?
We have seen fantastic work from more than 30 artists showing WA leading the way in creative talent in Australia
We have learned that arts is essential to health from Dr Christina Davies – research tells us this – it is a message we all need to support and repeat to our funders and supporters. We are essential to life!
We have learned that local government values arts – but we need to lead the way to making ourselves essential amongst all of the other priorities in government. We are essential to liveability!
We have learned that first nation engagement is something we all have to work harder on, it is our responsibility to ensure equity and respect. First nations performing arts is essential!
We have learned from Dee Madigan that we have to work harder on our messaging to government and there are many ways to get heard, we have a long way to go. Talking well to government is essential.
We learned the amazing transformative plans for the Art Gallery of WA that have been ground in great research and creative thinking
We have learned that we need to move forward in social media – and lose our dependence on channels that are getting old. Facebook is getting left behind for younger audiences.
We have learned how to reach out to youth. We have heard amazing case studies for how to impact families, how to reach our seniors and how to use art to tackle important social issues – and we need to be working with all of these parts of the community and learning from presenters who have already had success.
And we have learned about creating work in communities and about the importance of residencies…and maybe come up with a few ideas for our communities. We learnt there is funding and we need to pursue it!
We finished with a reminder that as arts people we need to keep listening to our communities and tell our story we – we are thrilling!
The big take out that we got from 4 days here was that art is so many things in our community, and that it connects and enriches so many people
And we can achieve great things for WA and this is our parting thought.
COVID 19 has decimated this industry and so many communities and lives. As an industry arts has done a terrific job in not forgetting who we are or why art is critical. As we have seen over the 4 days, we in the arts are essential to the world moving forward, and we need to ensure that we continue to lead the way, and tell the story about how critical art really is.