Message from the Chair
The year that was 2017, and what a year it was!
Our first annual Community Strengthening Program was a huge success and operated across seven towns in six local government areas. We were honoured to promote the Act Belong Commit message, with greatly appreciated sponsorship from Healthway. Stakeholder and community feedback was overwhelmingly positive and has led to the development of a broader program for 2018.
After two years of anticipation our community gallery, office and artist accommodation facility in Carnamah was officially opened. The Bank Gallery is the kind of outcome that people don’t expect to happen in a small country town. We were honoured to welcome leading WA visual artist Di Taylor as our first contracted artist-in-residence where she designed and facilitated a series impressive events and community workshops including the #StongerTogether Youth Mural on Macpherson Street in Carnamah pictured below.
Our major exhibition for the year, 10863 Bushranger presented by Act Belong Commit, successfully brought together visually striking artworks by Di Taylor, fascinating interpretation from the Carnamah Historical Society & Museum, a short-story by emerging regional writer Lauren Selfe, a unique song by WA singer-songwriter Ashlea Reale; all overlayed with a message of positive mental wellbeing. After touring to the Sunshine Festival in Geraldton and to the historic Fremantle Prison in Perth, the exhibition was seen by over 23,000 people in just four months!
To address gaps in the community, we opened a regional Learning Hub at the rear of the Carnamah Hall and it was utilised almost immediately for the establishment of a CoderDojo club for local youth with plans underway for an expanded program.
To quote Tom Vilsack, People working together in a strong community with a shared goal and a common purpose can make the impossible possible. This is very much the story of the North Midlands Project. I’d like to thank our volunteers, team members, everyone on our dedicated Management Committee, our Regional Advisory Team, our group of passionate Artistic, Cultural & Wellness Directors, Di Taylor, Ron Bradfield Jnr, and every creative involved. We can be justly proud of everything we have achieved together in 2017.
– Andrew Bowman-Bright, Chair
Social + Community Impact
In 2017 our Act Belong Commit Creative Community Program delivered 55 activities encouraging creativity, positive mental wellbeing and vibrant, liveable towns. 493 participants and 17,159 spectators engaged with our activities including workshops, exhibitions and events in Carnamah, Coorow, Eneabba, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori, Perth and Three Springs. Thank you to all of the partners and supporters who worked with us during the year.