Calling all locally-minded artists for arts mentoring and patronage

CANBERRA artists with a commitment to their local communities are being asked to participate in a new artistic mentoring and patronage initiative for ACT Schools and Colleges.

Dr Gallagher

Dr Gallagher

The brains behind the scheme is Dr Jolanta Gallagher, who steered the inaugural National Arts Summit in Canberra last year.

In Dr Gallagher’s view, the initiative has the potential to generate a massive change regarding generational dynamics in our communities, locally and nationally where young people offer their skills (maybe in new technologies) and fresh ideas in exchange for expertise and professional contacts of the established and senior/retired artists.

At the plenary session in the 2013 summit, there was a suggestion to establish a new creative partnership between the ACT schools and colleges, and artists within their local communities.

Since that time the idea has been discussed with and supported by the ACT Education Department.

Louise Owens, Principal of North Ainslie Primary School and Daniel Zobel, Principal of Majura Primary School have agreed to initiate the project by organising a gathering of local artists living in Dickson, Hackett, Ainslie, Watson and Downer.

The idea is that established local artists who have time may contribute in some way to a school’s artistic ethos, and to inspire young pupils to be more involved in the arts and the community.

Having an inspirational mentor/patron at each school and college in the ACT volunteering their free time to a different school each year, it is believed, is a model that could be adopted by other states.

This is different, Dr Gallagher says, to the already existing practice in some schools of a having visiting artists. The artistic patrons/mentors would develop longer and closer relationship with the schools, would become part of their community life, rather than paying a passing visit.

A meeting where artists can share ideas will be held from 9:30 to 10:30am on Wednesday, September 3 in the library of North Ainslie Primary School, 122 Majura Av. Ainslie. RSVP to by Tuesday, September 2. Inquiries to 0430 513 073.

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