The powerful effects of the arts on community life have been captured in a new book by Regional Arts Victoria – How Can Art Transform Our Town?
The book documents the five Small Town Transformations creative projects that ran in the Victorian towns Dookie, Neerim South, Avoca, Ouyen and Natimuk between 2013 and 2014.
The projects brought community members together with professional artists to work on large-scale arts projects that aimed to transform each town and leave a lasting legacy.
Launching the book as part of Regional Arts Victoria’s 2015 Annual General Meeting, Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, said the Small Town Transformations projects tell the story of the role creativity can play across all facets of community life.
The projects varied from the creation of a Chinese garden, to a whole town festival, a public artwork, a revitalised community centre and the transformation of a median strip in the centre of the town into a vibrant and inviting meeting place.
More than 16,000 people, including over 330 artists, were involved in bringing the projects to life.
The project shows how Victoria’s vibrant regions and small towns are reservoirs of creativity.
The Andrews Labor Government secured the future of the Small Town Transformations program as part of the $20 million regional arts package announced in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.
The four-year Budget package also includes funding for Victoria’s network of regional galleries and performing arts centres; increased support in regional touring by Victorian artists and creative organisations; and a new Regional Centre for Culture initiative.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley
“Arts, culture and creativity lie at the heart of what makes Victoria great. They make our communities stronger and more liveable, while supporting jobs and growth.”
“The initial Small Town Transformations projects were inspiring examples of the role creativity plays in building all Victorian communities - socially, culturally and economically.”
“Labor’s $20 million investment in our regions will boost local creative industries, allowing more Victorians to participate in activities, wherever they live and however big or small their communities.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020