30 May 2016
The small Victorian towns of Birregurra, Lake Tyers Beach, Narrawong, Rainbow, Girgarre and a collective of Western Port waterline townships will each be receiving $350,000 to undertake an ambitious two-year project to creatively transform their communities.
The towns were selected from 73 proposals that were part of the Victorian Government's Small Town Transformations program.
The community-led projects will commence in August 2016 and will be completed by October 2018. They are:
- Birregurra – to transform its idle Mechanics Institute Hall and other local spaces into thriving arts and cultural venues.
- Girgarre – for a sound and light project that will connect community members with leading international artists. Together they will create multiple works that tell the story of the town and its residents while also establishing a new outdoor performance space and revitalising the local town hall.
- Western Port Waterline Townships – Pioneer Bay, Grantville, Tenby Point, Corinella and Coronet Bay will join forces for a project that will connect the towns and create a spectacular outdoor installation and arts event celebrating the local natural and built environment.
- Lake Tyers Beach – to create a floating arts space that will occupy Lake Tyers. Working with the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust, this project will present a year-long artistic program and provide a unique environment for artists to work in residence.
- Narrawong – to create two permanent public art installations at Mt Clay and the Narrawong Community Reserve that reflect on the Aboriginal heritage and culture of the area.
- Rainbow – to revitalise an historic school building and grounds into 'The Oasis', a creative community destination with a strong international connection.
The 2016 program builds on the success of the 2012-2014 pilot which saw five towns - Neerim South, Avoca, Natimuk, Dookie and Ouyen – creatively transformed. The projects ranged from the creation of a new outdoor performance venue, to a public sculpture and a Chinese garden that invited the town to reflect on its immigration history.
The 2016 Small Town Transformations program is part of the Victorian Government's $20 million Regional Arts Package delivered in the 2015-16 State Budget. The program is managed by Regional Arts Victoria.