Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chairperson's Report AGM 8th February 2014

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council Inc
Chairpersons Report
Annual General Meeting 8 February 2014

Our Vision - A sense of belonging and community cohesion through the arts and culture as an integral part of everyday life in our region.


In considering RRAC’s activities in 2013, I think the organisation has really delivered on its Vision statement to the fullest extent.


2013 saw RRAC commit to a major change in how the organisation has been run. The Management Committee appointed a part time paid Coordinator to enable us to better manage our Annual Program. This role involves among many things - administration, marketing and promotion of events, seeking sponsorship and  completion of funding applications and acquittals.  I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Melissa Daw firstly for taking on this new role and for the professional and capable manner she has demonstrated in fulfilling it. This has relieved our volunteers of a lot of work, however they have more than compensated by their leadership and involvement in projects throughout the year.


At our 2013 AGM we viewed some examples of community dance projects from other towns in preparation for our involvement in a nationally funded community dance project, Future Landings 2013. The dance project was a major commitment for RRAC and a brave step into the unknown. Three of our committee set off on a three day conference with all the other dance project participants from the other towns involved. This excursion obviously set the creative juices flowing and gave time for brain storming some of our other planned projects and the seed was sown for Homespun.


In April, Historian Lyn Dale was invited to  Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe  for three days of story telling and sharing of family memorabilia under the theme of women in the armed forces and preserving family history. This residency was hugely successful with participants using quilt making to record family stories and learning ways to preserve and display special historical mementos and documents. Many family stories and recollections of life experiences were shared.


The community enjoyed touring shows in Jane Germain and the Lazy Boys, Canterbury Tales and Wintering. Wintering being a further intro into the world of contemporary dance and warming the community and potential writers and dancers for involvement in Wheel of Fortunes – the Ravensthorpe component of Future Landings 2013.


The pace quickened with taster dance and writing workshops for Wheel of Fortunes and the commencement of the Homespun project. Homespun culminated in the launch, a beautiful High Tea,          giving away the flowers and display of the panels during the Wildflower Show.  Homespun welcomed new and old community members and had incredible take up across the district.  It has been acclaimed across the country with people still asking to be sent flowers and requests to display the panels in other areas. This was community art at its best.

The Farm Gate Art Trail project saw more workshops, with sculptures completed and the winning entries announced at the Wildflower Show Gala Dinner.  Shots of the vocalist group Slap my Thighs and Call Me Barbara gallivanting in the giant Tea Set at Blue Vista gave RRAC even more promotion along with a radio interview about the Art Trail. 


The Wheel of Fortunes workshops and rehearsals continued and then on October 12 the performance in the Jerdacuttup CBH Bin outshone all expectations with two performances and a celebration at the Jerdy Hall.  Another extremely successful community art project and a huge task for all involved.


During the year RRAC also supported Friday Night Art at the Dunnart Gallery, the annual Art Exhibition and the Wildflower Show.  Behind  the scenes there was much paperwork seeking funding and updating our Strategic Plan.


Recognition was received at the Australia Day Citizen Awards this year with RRAC being presented the award for a Community Group. A well deserved acknowledgement and a badge we will be proud to wear.


We have been successful in achieving increased funding through CAWA for our 2014 program.  This funding was very competitive and again is recognition of our diverse program and integration with the community.  The continuing commitment from Shire of Ravensthorpe is also a very important part of our success and I thank council for its ongoing support.


Thank you to all the committee and our Friends of the Arts and local communities.  I look forward to being involved in the 2014 program.



Jen Chambers

Ravensthorpe  Regional Arts Council is supported by the Shire of Ravensthorpe, Country Arts WA and the Department for Culture and the Arts.

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