Continuing the occasional series on businesses on Gateway Island, Border Cafe popped into the office of Murray Arts, one of 14 regional arts boards in the Regional Arts NSW network, to meet its new Executive Director, Alyce Fisher.
Alyce has a background in theatre and education production, as well as extensive experience in regional arts partnerships and returns to the region after spending several years overseas.
What changes have you noticed in regional arts during the three and a half years you were in the US and the UK?
There are the most publicised changes which are the changes in arts funding. But I think from leaving and coming back is the continuing growth and professionalism within regional arts in Australia and specifically in NSW.
Coming back to see the biggest regional arts gathering in Australia, Artlands in Dubbo, I was in awe of what my colleagues had achieved while I had been gallivanting. It made me really realise the scope of growth within the network.
A major project for Murray Arts is Burraja Arts. How does this fit in with the work Murray Arts does in developing the arts and cultural life of communities in this region?
One of the things I’ve discovered since becoming the Executive Director, is that Murray Arts is the ‘go to’ organisation for everything Aboriginal Arts in this region. So, within our Aboriginal Arts Development program just for 2017 alone, we have the Burraja Gallery in the shopfront of our office. This is the only dedicated Aboriginal Art Gallery for the region and is in its incubation phase.
We’ve also been working with The Cube and HotHouse Theatre on their Indigenous programs, so we recently had Corranderrk performed recently to a full house and Hart is coming up for HotHouse.
Also in partnership with Wodonga TAFE and Arts Space Wodonga we’re planning a retrospective of Eddie Kneebone’s work, so it’s a very busy and exciting time.
What are some of the other projects you’re looking forward to working on?
There are so many, but one that immediately springs to mind is the Sticks and Stones projects which will see writers embedded into six local schools to develop their writing skills and tell their stories in a podcast series to give a snapshot of what it’s like for a young person living in a regional area.
I’m thrilled to be working with the great team here supporting artists, communities and our local government partners to enrich lives through art and culture.
Find out more about the work of Murray Arts on their website http://www.murrayarts.org.au/