1st Year Anniversary for local Creative Space
“It’s about more than Art. I can be myself when I come here”
Creative Space Southern Highlands will celebrate its first year of creative making, as an inclusive and accessible Art Space this week.
Developed by the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW in partnership with local Community and Service Organisations, Creative Space has been quietly establishing itself as an inclusive community arts hub for all people regardless of which Local Government Area they hail from.
“We aim to be inclusive on all levels, welcoming ‘Creative Makers’ of varied experience, with or without disability” says Tania McInnes Art Coordinator of Creative Space. “In a very organic way, with the help of the Makers who attend and the supportive community wrapped around this initiative, the Space has established itself a welcoming place for ‘Creative Makers’ to share art, and form social connections.”
“We now have many people who regularly attend to learn new skills, or share their learning and ideas with others,’ said McInnes, “And new people make contact each week. Adding to that, our TAFE Course offers free and accredited Professional Development that enriches the potential for community cultural development and even economic development in our regions. “In partnership with TAFE, we offer pathways to further education and employment as well as the opportunity to enrich cultural offerings locally by supporting and engaging Creatives who are piloting unique local programs and creative enterprise.”
“These Birthday Days in September operate a bit like open days, they will be relaxed, casual and welcoming in our usual Creative Space style” shares McInnes. “it’s a chance for anyone who may have thought about attending or people from services and organisations as well as families locally, to pop in for a bit of a look and to see what its like”
“We are also inviting people to come and experience and maybe even purchase work being produced by the ‘makers’ at Creative Space in a pop up Exhibition which will be up for the month of September at the Moss Vale Civic Centre.
On Friday 7th September the Pop up Exhibition “Our Story So Far” to be officially launched by Cath Brennan, Coordinator Community Development, Wingecarribee Shire Council. There will be refreshments and entertainment. All are welcome to meet at 11am for a viewing and then move to the Theatrette for 11:20 for some short speeches, morning tea, the all-important Birthday Cake and entertainment.
There are considerable wider benefits of inclusive arts programs. “People share they feel they are gaining confidence, making friends and learning more than arts skills. They’re discussing health and wellbeing, and forming their own inclusive, supportive community,” said Tania.
Creative Space was originally started by the Ability Links arm of St Vincent de Paul Society and Ability Links remains a key player in the planning and operations of the space along with local artists and community members with lived experience. Ability Links is a free NSW Government initiative promoting inclusion in the community. Linkers work in two ways; by supporting people with disability, their families and carers to live the life they want as valued members of the community and by supporting businesses and organisations to become physically and socially accessible.
Creative Space Southern Highlands will also be available to view, with another pop exhibition planned (this time in room 8) for the first two weekends of November as part of the Southern Highlands Arts Festival.
Creative Space is in the grounds of Kazcare in Bowral Room 8, Kazcare 15-17 Kirkham Road Bowral and is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm for a mix of Open Studio and Art Workshop options.