Art Resides Here

Proudly supported by
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H&L Hecht

Healthy Arts, Vibrant Communities

The arts not only make a significant contribution to the cultural life of regional and rural communities, but also generate significant benefits to local and regional economies, health and well-being, educational engagement, social cohesion, and sense of place, identity and community pride. They play a vital role in building and sustaining vibrant rural, regional and remote communities.

In partnership with The H&L Hecht Trust, Regional Arts Victoria and Artlands, FRRR will present at the national regional arts conference, Artlands Victoria, exploring the role arts and culture play in rural communities in Victoria.

This project aims to support and promote the value of arts-based activity in rural, regional and remote communities, and to:

  • Increase community capacity to develop creative solutions to local issues;
  • Strengthen social capital, inclusion and connectedness;
  • Increase health and well-being outcomes in remote, rural and regional communities;
  • Increase volunteerism and community partnerships;
  • Increase debate and shared knowledge about the role the arts can play in building vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities.
Arlands Victoria logo

This project was conceived to enable five diverse communities to reflect upon their experiences working with arts and cultural projects to deliver different outcomes, all relevant to their local context. Each group will share their story with a national audience at Artlands Victoria, which will be held in early October 2018 in Bendigo and Castlemaine. To support the community presentations, FRRR will present an analysis of data relating to grant making, and share insights into how arts helps build vibrant and sustainable communities.

Communities in the spotlight

FRRR has identified five communities, all of which have engaged with the arts in different ways and for different purposes. Each group or community has been supported by FRRR to deliver arts-based projects, and whilst they are all Victorian, their experiences and reasons for engaging with the arts reflect a broader national experience.

The five communities are:

  • Rupanyup: FRRR has worked with various Rupanyup groups and projects, including funding a music program at the Rupanyup Nursing Home, new chairs for the Rupanyup Public Hall and a hand dryer for the Woods’ Farming & Heritage Museum.
  • Cavendish: FRRR provided a small grant towards the running costs of the inaugural Cavendish Red Gum Festival, which was held in April 2018. The Festival used an arts and cultural approach to inform the community about important local environmental issues.
  • Crossley: The Friends of St Brigid’s are a committed community group who have worked hard to save and preserve a much-loved old church and hall, recognising that infrastructure is vital to a connected and healthy community. FRRR has provided a number of grants over time to support this work.
  • Nathalia: The Nathalia & District Development Corporation worked with the local community - both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to develop a children’s book and performance, produced in both Yorta Yorta and English. FRRR provided a grant to support the performance component of the project. 
  • Strathewen: Through a partnership between the CFA and the local primary school, the Strathewen community demonstrated the importance of the arts in a disaster recovery context. FRRR has supported this creative response to the challenge of recovery from the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

These five communities are working with Julie Millowick, photographer, photo-journalist and creative producer (who took all of the photos below), to develop case studies that tell their stories, in their words. It is these authentic community voices and stories that sit at the heart of the project.

Learn more about how the arts has contributed to building and sustaining these vibrant rural, regional and remote communities.


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