West Darling Arts
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Happy 21st West Darling Arts!
Our organisation turned 21 this month!
Who are we?
West Darling Arts is the Regional Arts Development Organisation (RADO) for Far West NSW. The organisation services an area of 176,000 square kilometres; ranging from Tibooburra to Dareton, Wilcannia to Silverton. As an organisation, we believe that arts and culture are integral to the vitality and development of our isolated communities.
West Darling Arts is primarily funded by the NSW Government's Create NSW and is supported by the Broken Hill City Council, the Central Darling Shire Council and the Wentworth Shire Council. West Darling Arts recognises the Wilyakali people as the Traditional Owners of the land where our office is based in Broken Hill.
West Darling Arts is part of the Regional Arts NSW network which consists of 15 regional organisations (RADOS) and the peak body Regional Arts NSW, which deliver arts and cultural development across regional NSW. We are in regular contact with the network exchanging support, skills development, ideas and advocacy across NSW, contributing to a strong regional voice together. Our region comprises of three local Government Authorities and the Unincorporated Areas of NSW:
Broken Hill City Council
Central Darling Shire Council
Wentworth Shire Council
West Darling Arts supports the arts in the far west region through advocacy, connections and development of grass-roots initiatives. It enables individuals and organisations to access opportunities to grow professionally and to access audiences. Our vision in a snapshot, is to amplify arts and culture and to empower access and participation to the arts. We operate with a highly efficient staff of three: Cathy Farry (Executive Director), Jo Crase (Project Officer) and Kelly Leonard (Communications Officer).
Cathy Farry is WDA’s Executive Director. She is a cross-disciplinary artist who graduated from the National Art School in 2001. Cathy's extensive experience in the regional gallery, community and education sectors provides opportunities for connecting Far West artists throughout the State and across borders. She is the founding director of a local cooperative bookshop and enjoys presenting on 2DryFM community radio. Cathy is an advocate of equity of resources, art education and grass-roots solutions to challenges within our arts ecology.
Jo Crase is WDA’s Project Officer. She has worked in the museums, galleries and events sector since finishing her Master of Art Curatorship in 2004. Her experience has spanned curatorial projects, collection management, public art commissioning, event management and community cultural development projects. She enjoys being an active member of Broken Hill's Philharmonic Choir and Theatre 44 community. Jo is passionate about community cultural development, using participation in the Arts to promote social inclusion and self -determination for communities.
Kelly Leonard is WDA's Communications Officer. She is a cross-disciplinary artist using the unlikely interchange of digital and textile arts practice to drive political change centred on equity in rural communities for women, the natural environment, and diverse populations. Since completing a Master of Arts Management at UTS in 2007, Kelly has worked across community arts development, event management and communications roles. Through her long-term commitment to regional arts practice she brings strong cross-regional networks and connections to the Far West Arts community.
West Darling Arts is committed to advocating for the arts in the far west and to the regional arts sector. Dr Tracey Callinan, CEO of Regional Arts NSW, has recently written a timely article about why supporting the arts in our regional places matters. She comments: The arts is too often sidelined in terms of funding, omitted in strategic plans, failed to be respected as a driver of people moving to regional places (or choosing to stay there), or recognized as contributing to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of places.
Drop into the West Darling Arts office to have a chat with our team and why regional arts matter and to find out how we can support you.