Plan B, anyone?
Nothing is certain, not even art! As for making New Year’s Resolutions, my advice for 2022 is to put a little asterisk next to any resolution you make and mark it “weather/pandemic permitting”. Some internet gurus are advising us to choose different kinds of goals this year – eg “grow my skills” rather than “hold an exhibition”. Or you could go with “hold an exhibition” and recognise that you might have to go to Plan B. So “have a plan B” could work, except then you’ll have twice as many resolutions, half for your inner dreamer/optimist, and half for your inner realist/pessimist!
Arts Upper Hunter’s vision for this year is to “reacquaint ourselves with the region”. Plan B is to do it by Zoom. With newly elected LGA councillors, a new ED (me), our first ever Aboriginal Arts Officer, a new strategic plan, and reopenings galore, it’s time to find out what everyone wants to do next. Our little organisation dreams of becoming a more vital part of the fabric of the creative communities round here.
How best to do that?
By hanging out with youse more, asking what you want, and helping you to join some dots and to reach your vision.
Arts Upper Hunter has some more concrete targets – we’re creating Cultural Trails for all those cultural tourists out there, reintroducing our creative calendar of events, and discovering artists who can work successfully doing projects for local institutions such as hospitals, schools and age-care facilities.
Most of all we’re connecting people, ideas, events, training, grants and opportunities.
First cab off the rank for us? Those popular Country Arts Support Program grants applications will open on 14 Feb and close in early April. Do you have a workshop, a program, a show that represents the next step up or the next step forward for your organisation? If you’re not sure it’s a good fit, or if you’re just starting the thinking process, do give me a call and we can talk it over.
And remember, thinking outside the rhomboid is encouraged! Performance art, digital delivery, some mad mix of this-n-that medium, collaboration and audience engagement (especially those hard-to-reach audiences), having a bold or iconoclastic theme, even going straight to Plan B, these are all encouraged. Aim high. The only real failure is not trying in the first place.
Artwork? Short story?
Entries for one of the region’s richest art prizes, the Muswellbrook Art Prize, close soon. There’s a $70,000 prize pool and a history of great winners. Details below.
Or maybe you’re a primary producer who can turn a phrase: Scone Literary Festival’s excellent Farmer’s Short Story Competition closes on 14 February, so get typing! (There’s a competition for high-schoolers too!) Details below.
And entries for the Dungog Archies close on 18 February. Artistically render that famous local in this fun competition that has a tendency to reveal some great new talents. Details below.
If you’re feeling a bit glassy-eyed after New Year’s, it is almost certainly because 2022 is the International Year Of Glass, that medium of so many functions. ArtsHub (who are worth subscribing to) have a very nice national survey here
Happy New Year and Joyful Planning from the AUH team.