11 March, 2021
Letter to the editor
I was disheartened to learn when I received an email from the Orana Arts organisation detailing thousands of dollars in grants available to regional artists each year, that as I reside in Gilgandra, I am not eligible to apply for this government arts funding.
Having graduated from Gilgandra High School, and then graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School in Sydney, I have returned to my hometown in hopes of continuing my ambitions as a contemporary artist based in a regional location.
I am dismayed and disappointed that I am unable to apply to Orana Arts grants (supporting regional artists and community projects) due to council’s decision to discontinue their membership within the arts organisation.
By not being a member council of our own regional arts organisation, local artists are now unable to tap into many opportunities which flow down through government funding channels to support local artists and arts organisations. Gilgandra will struggle to be an attractive place for artists and/or for artist run organisations when close by centres such as Dubbo and Coonamble do have access to this government arts funding.
While council is upgrading our local museum and gallery, which is great to see.
I would also ask our local elected representatives, that if they intend to continue to not be a financial member of our regional arts organisation, then to consider initiating a similar grant program for those in the town who are being excluded from this funding.
These organisations and subsequent grant programs were created to aid and support the regional art sectors and to help fill the gap in accessibility between our urban and rural art communities.
Councillors, we need access to arts funding in Gilgandra for the sake of our local arts culture.
Clementine Belle McIntosh, Gilgandra