Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The Dongara Patchwork Club meet in the WA fishing town of Port Denison, which is located almost four hours north of Perth. Every three years, the club hosts a ‘Hanging of the Quilts’ event to exhibit new works completed by club members and the event draws tourists into town, supporting the local arts economy.

In October 2019, the Dongara Patchwork Club used a $4,403 Strengthening Rural Communities grant to fund the event. The grant was used to support venue hire, catering, printing, raffle tickets and advertising. The club members transformed the stadium at the Rec Centre into a Quilters Haven for the day and created ‘themed rooms’ that helped visitors to get inspired, be introduced to the craft or just to appreciate the talents of the local quilters.

The event featured quilts that had never been displayed, as well as demonstrations, art displays, raffles, quality market stalls, and a vintage car display that was located adjacent to the building. The 2019 ‘Hanging of the Quilts’ event also provided an opportunity for other local community groups to get involved, with the Veteran Car Club, Dongara Denison Art Group, Geraldton Spinners/weavers and Lace Makers and the Pottery Club participating along with local producers who showcased their wares.

Not only did the event drive local arts tourism but the community also reported an increase in creative expression, strengthened social connectivity and reduced social isolation. The funds raised at the festival were enough to cover the groups running costs and their work within the community for the next three years.