Welcome to our newsletter, where this month, our focus is on promoting the arts and culture of the Wentworth Shire, in which the towns of Wentworth, Dareton, Pooncarie, Buronga and Gol Gol are located. The area has a population of 7,000 people living near both the Darling and Murray Rivers. The Wentworth Shire contains some of the most significant known sites of Aboriginal occupation in Australia, including those at Mungo National Park. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and those to come of the Barkindji Nation of which the Wentworth/Dareton area is part.
As restrictions slowly ease and we all start to mobilise post Covid-19, here at West Darling Arts, we are looking at ways in which creative tourism can help connect and stimulate the social, cultural and economic assets in communities. A recent report from the Australia Council for the Arts, Creating Our Future 2020 highlights the fact that 98% of Australians engage with the arts in some way, whether it is listening to music, attending a local festival or engaging on-line. Interestingly, 40% of Australians are interested in First Nations arts and there are real opportunities to build on this in the Far West and develop strategies to increase engagement from Australian audiences.
Another research report from the Australia Council, Domestic Arts Tourism: Connecting the country. 2018, outlines the potential of the arts to drive engagement with tourism. Arts experiences have a growing role as a driver for tourism in Australia and are increasingly part of visitors’ itineraries. Recently, post Covid-19, we have seen an increase in domestic visitors to the area enjoying the iconic outback road trip who are keen to support local economies through participation in cultural initiatives. West Darling Arts took such a trip to Wentworth on the Long Weekend, to visit the Wentworth Maker’s Market and to check out regional hospitality at it’s finest.
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