Vote 1 Regional Arts

We believe that 25 million Australians are better off when the 8.8 million Australians who live outside of the metropolitan cities are creative, productive and thriving individuals, contributing their unique perspectives to the national identity and making Australia a more culturally diverse nation. To better support the 8.8 million Australians in regional, remote and rural Australia, we need more resources. 

To do this, Regional Arts Australia is calling for an increase of at least $2 million per year to the Regional Arts Fund. This will enable more support, better outcomes and stronger communities across Australia.

We need your support. We need you to energise your communities and let our elected representatives know that regional arts matter and that the RAF deserves to be increased.

Ways to get involved:

Visit the Regional Arts Australia for more information.

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A Little Piece of Heaven receives funding to tour region

Orana Arts is pleased to announce a successful application to the Create NSW Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund. The $20,000 grant will bring Aboriginal theatre — for the first time — to some regional NSW communities. Performances of A Little Piece Of Heaven, written and performed by Wiradjuri Elders Aunty Ruth Carney and Uncle Dick Carney, will be staged in the Gilgandra Shire and Bogan Shire localities later in 2019.

In A Little Piece of Heaven the couple tell their story in their own words, delivering a truly extraordinary and previously untold tale of Aboriginal life in country NSW through the twentieth century. The show received rave reviews when it was performed for Narromine and Dubbo audiences in 2018, with one audience member saying that the show:

“…gave me an important and extraordinary insight into the hardships experienced by Aoriginal people in rural Australia through the voices of those who had lived it. It also spoke to the dignity, integrity and strength of Aunty Ruth Carney and Uncle Dick Carney, and their love for each other. They have brought a special light to me personally.” 

The NSW Government funding will enable the show to tour to Gilgandra and Nyngan, towns which share a special connection to the Carney family and their story. The tour will take place in the second half of this year. 

Orana Arts Executive Director Alicia Rodriguez Leggett calls A Little Piece of Heaven:

“An authentic voice for regional theatre that transcends the place of its creation due to the universal themes of love, loss, grief and joy.”

The production has been created by an Aboriginal led artistic team under the direction of acclaimed theatre-maker John Harvey of Brown Cab Productions. A Little Piece of Heaven will also tour to Melbourne’s Footscray Community Arts Centre in May as part of the Yirramboi Festival.  

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A Little Piece of Heaven is proudly presented with support from the NSW Government.

Crowdfunding campaign launched for international art project coming out of Orana Region

Dubbo-based artist and producer, Kim V. Goldsmith has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support an international art project that will take her to Iceland for two months later this year.

The outcome of which will be a large-scale, immersive, digital media artwork to be exhibited in Dubbo later this year.

For the past year, Ms Goldsmith has been working on a project called Eye of the Corvus: Messengers of Truth, looking at the landscape from the perspective of birds, in particular, corvids – ravens and crows, endemic to both Australia and Iceland.

The $5,000 she hopes to raise through the Australian Cultural Fund campaign will be used to support her time spent working across rural and remote NSW and northern Iceland, shooting video with drones, virtual reality and action cameras, and field recordings – time she’s dedicating to the project away from home and her business.
As she explains, corvids are highly intelligent birds that as a species reveal some of the complexities involved in surviving in a rapidly changing world.

“Why is a species so resilient in one part of the world, and not another? This is one of the key questions I’m seeking to investigate through this project.

“In Australia, corvids are thriving and adapting; in Iceland, they’re a threatened species,” she adds. “How these birds see the world – a view we’re unfamiliar with – may shed light on our future, or at the very least spark a conversation about it.”

As part of her project research, Ms Goldsmith has been corresponding with avian experts in Australia and the United Kingdom, who have directed her reading and responded to questions about bird sensory ecology and behaviour.

“I’m using this scientific understanding of the birds to inform how I record video and sound for what will become an immersive experience of moving pictures and motion-sensored audio, taking you into the landscape from inside the eye of the bird.”

The crowdfunding campaign runs until the end of March. More information can be found at or

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Organisers of Art Unlimited, one of the Central West’s most exciting art events, are calling for entries from artists, photographers and ceramicists for the annual competition to be staged in Dunedoo from 17 — 26 May 2019.

Prizes for Art Unlimited 2019 include:

Peabody Wilpinjong Prize for Hanging Art, $3000
Art Unlimited Photography Prize, $3000
Art Unlimited Ceramics Prize, $3000
Dunedoo Rural Hardware People’s Choice Prize, $500
Orana Arts Indigenous Artist Prize, $500
The Janace Holmes Family Memorial Prize, $250

Judging will take place on Friday 17 May and winners will be announced at a ticketed preview reception that evening.

Closing date for entry forms is Thursday 18 April 2019. Entry forms and fees can be submitted either by post or via the Art Unlimited website. Entry fees are $12 each with a limit of 5 entries per artist per category. Art Unlimited 2019 is open to works completed within the last 12 months. Entrants must be aged 18 or over.

For more information please contact:
Penny Stevens: 6375 1540
Marianne Deutscher: 0402 404352

Winner of the 2018 Orana Arts Indigenous Artist Prize, Stephen Moore’s Above the Clouds.

Winner of the 2018 Orana Arts Indigenous Artist Prize, Stephen Moore’s Above the Clouds.

Our Year in Art: 2018

The Orana Arts team closes an exciting and ambitious year of cultural projects and major partnerships by sharing their 2018 highlights. 

Alicia Rodriguez Leggett, Executive Director 
It has been a very busy year for all of us with so many highlights, but two very personal moments stand out for me.

Watching the first Black Box Creatives production of Brainstorm and seeing how proud everyone was of the show was a big one. My eldest daughter was in the show and it was what she had always wanted in a performance — it was relevant and poignant to her sense of place and identity. The enthusiasm carried over from the young performers to the professionals who make the BBC shows happen: Camilla Ward and Andrew Glassop. Everyone was talking about this "out of the box" piece of theatre and how well it went off. Listening to them talk about where to from here and how many more people need to see it was invigorating — it wasn't just over for them after that one performance. Brainstorm was a catalyst to further development. 

Another touching moment was at the staging of A Little Piece of Heaven: getting a hug and a thank you from Aunty Violet (Ruth Carney's elder) after the show brought me to tears. 

The Black Box Creatives rehearse Brainstorm.

The Black Box Creatives rehearse Brainstorm.

Michelle Hall, Strategic Projects and Partnerships  

One of the true privileges of my role is working with the most disengaged/disadvantaged members of society and giving them a voice through creative investment. To see the truly vulnerable trust us with their stories, regain their spirit and feel a sense of place and pride through art is incredible. 

There have been many wonderful moments seeing the transformation the arts have made to people and communities, but the moments happen because of the artists we work with and the partnerships we foster — in particular:

The incredible team of A Little Piece of Heaven: John, Paris, Alison, Annie, Sam and Lee. Their personal commitment and support to our Elders Aunty Ruth and Uncle Dick Carney is something that I will always be grateful for and value. 

The visual and music artists within our CSI Program: Andy, Clint, Dale, Louise, Luke, Amanda and Joh, who invest so much of themselves so that the community they work within have opportunities for change and growth through art.

Our partners: Andrew Glassop at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, Sam Wild from Create NSW, Brad Peebles from Corrective Services NSW — your sanity, support and strategic guidance is so highly appreciated and valued. 

All of you made 2018 a year where — through art — we make the world a better place. Thank you.

Aunty Ruth and Uncle Dick Carney on stage during the Dubbo performance of A Little Piece of Heaven.

Aunty Ruth and Uncle Dick Carney on stage during the Dubbo performance of A Little Piece of Heaven.

Portia Lindsay, Communications Manager

My goals are around sharing stories and promoting literacy and literary engagement through our regional areas and I feel that this year I was a part of some powerful projects. My highlights were:

As General Manager of the Mudgee Readers’ Festival (MRF) I worked with local artists and community to develop and showcase the Aboriginal storytelling voice and celebrate Wiradjuri culture, through creative projects and discussions. The launch of the zine Burning at MRF in August was the stunning product of a workshop series that saw young people sharing and illustrating cultural and personal stories. I’m proud to see this Aboriginal storytelling and art project develop into 2019.   

This year I was invited to teach flash fiction as part of our CSI program. By the end of the session, participants were eagerly writing, re-working and reading aloud their stories. The warm atmosphere in the class enabled everyone to share their writing — sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious, always heartfelt — and it was a privilege to facilitate the self-expression of people who don’t always have a voice.

I have also really enjoyed working with our Art of Threatened Species resident artists to share their progress with the wider community. There is some terrific work developing and I’m looking forward to sharing more from the artists in 2019.

Launching the Burning zine at the 2018 Mudgee Readers’ Festival. Photo credit: Amber Hooper.

Launching the Burning zine at the 2018 Mudgee Readers’ Festival. Photo credit: Amber Hooper.

Danielle Andrews, Cultural Projects Officer
This year has been one of change for me: moving from Bathurst to Dubbo and being unsure whether this move was to be a positive development into my career, then landing the role of Cultural Projects Officer at Orana Arts. 

The greatest highlight would be the variety of people I have met in the short time I have been in this current role. Through attending Artstate in Bathurst (images below), I have met industry professionals from all over the NSW and it was invigorating to meet so many people with the same overall drive to enhance regional arts in Australia.

I have become aware of so many artists within the Orana Region; those who I have worked with personally and those who I admire and am yet to meet. The people who stand out most to me and have really guided my professional development is my team at Orana Arts. They have all been so welcoming, giving me the confidence and guidance in developing my skills.

Another highlight for this year has been the opportunity to work alongside the Black Box Creative’s theatre company with their team of students and facilitators. They have embraced the ideas I have brought to the company and I have learnt a great deal and come to appreciate their family-like connection.

This year has been the start of my professional development in the arts sector and with 2019 right around the corner I feel as though there is plenty of adventure in store with Orana Arts.

Shelby, Digital Projects Officer 

My proudest professional moment of 2018 was completing my Bachelor of Theatre Media major work Rumble as part of the Sprung Festival. I wrote and performed in a comedy stage production that was a Sprung Festival first for paving the way theatre and technology work together. Rumble is a choose-your-own-adventure stage play where the audience can choose the plot and outcomes in real time through a mobile app (images below). There are fifteen different choices and five different endings with improvisation and audience interaction throughout. It was a video game for stage that followed four university students through the Amazon forest as the audience tried to keep them alive and guide them through booby-traps, ghosts, talking artefacts, poisonous plants and everything else the jungle could throw at them. 

My main goals were for the audience to have lots of fun and to also break the stigma of technology within traditional theatre. Having achieved both — as well as single-handedly writing and creating this production — made Rumble my proudest moment of 2018!


Meet our new Digital Projects Officer

Orana Arts welcomes Shelby Russo-Vooles to the team as a part-time Digital Projects Officer. Get to know Shelby, who will be unveiling the new Pop-Up Creators program in early 2019. 

How did you get started in the arts?

From a very young age I was always encouraged to be creative with painting, singing and acting — I have been in every school play since prep participating in a variety of roles from the lead character to chorus. I also attended workshops and summer camps to complement my drama classes. I was lucky enough to go to a school that was able to fund a beautiful arts department with state-of-the-art equipment, offering a hands-on experience in many mediums including, paint, clay, burning and etching.

I have always loved video games and animation and it sparked my desire to create games and animations like the ones I would play and watch. That has always been a dream of mine since I was very young and I cannot wait to delve into these mediums in the future.


What do you love about working in the theatre?

The passion and excitement you get from being involved — there is something absolutely magical about being on the journey that theatre takes you! I love seeing the transformation of a production from the brainstorming stage to the final piece, especially because you know that a team of people made it happen: from a textured set piece to the blocking of someone’s foot, it is a massive collaboration and it’s beautiful. I have experienced being both the invisible backstage creator and the lead and they both equally give you a wonderful space to be creative and evolve with the end product. 

What was the last production that you saw?

The last production I saw was an original musical called Schapelle Schapelle. It was written and produced by close friends of mine as a part of Sprung Festival in Bathurst. It followed the story of Schapelle Corby and her infamous boogie board drug bust in Bali. It was an exceptionally well-written production that left you laughing and on the edge of your seat as they danced through the scandals from the family, news reports and Schapelle herself — all accompanied by a live band at the back of the stage!

As our Digital Projects Officer, you will be running Pop Up Creators in 2019 — what excites you about this program and what can our communities expect to see?

I am most excited about being able to use Pop-Up Creators to give our communities a chance to interact and channel their creativity through technology and design. I am very passionate about the ways that we can positively merge technology into art and creative outlets. I am excited to announce that I am already working on a coding workshop that can enable our community to learn the fundamentals of coding and implement it in real time using fun and quirky methods! 

Country Arts Support Program: 2019 recipients announced!

Through Country Arts Support Program (CASP) funding, creative organisations from across regional and rural NSW will play host to range of short-term, locally initiated community productions, programs, performances and workshops.

Arts Minister, Don Harwin, said that the annual CASP funding aims to drive creative and vibrant state-wide arts projects that engage diverse audiences and promote an innovative NSW arts and cultural sector.

“This funding reflects our ongoing commitment to promoting diverse arts and cultural experiences in regional NSW – everything from local community street art, youth choirs, and Aboriginal arts as well as securing a number of critically-acclaimed authors and artists that are going on tour.”

“Increasing access and participation in arts and cultural experiences drives economic benefits across the regions and also enables positive social impacts too, including greater awareness, appreciation and expression of our cultural diversity.”

The CASP fund is a devolved grants program administered each year by Regional Arts NSW on behalf of Create NSW. Grants of up to either $3,000 or $5,000 (depending on region) are available primarily for professional artists’ fees, travel and accommodation, with applications assessed by 14 regionally-based panels coordinated by the local Regional Arts Boards.

Orana Arts is proud to announce that the following projects in our region have been funded:

Dubbo Filmmakers: Young Filmmakers' Bootcamp ($5,000)
In a series of workshops for young people, Dubbo Filmmakers aim to provide hands-on experience in creating short films facilitated by experienced filmmakers. Young filmmakers will be encouraged to enter their projects in the 2019 Dubbo One Eye Film Festival.

Dunedoo Central School Parents & Citizens Association: Art for Youth - A Brush with Bush Kids ($3,000)
To bring the world of art to kids from the bush, three qualified artists from Sydney will present art workshops to 150 students at Dunedoo from 14—16 May 2019.

Gilgandra Alive! presents: An Afternoon of Crime ($2,000)
A published, award-winning and popular author of crime fiction will visit Gilgandra to offer an inspiring workshop for writers in the local area and surrounds. This will include an open forum on their latest work, a reading and a Q&A session.

Mid-Western Regional Council: Growing a Community's Cultural Ecology ($3,000)
Local arts worker Kelly Leonard will coordinate a pilot project engaging two local professional, contemporary artists. The outcome will develop work in short residencies alongside community development events.

RnR Rags to Bags - GM Rail Services: RnR Rags to Bags ($5,000)
Helping to inspire creativity in community members who experience mental health issues or live with disability, RnR Rags to Bags will hold workshops in multiple sites designing & using recycled materials to use as an alternative to plastic bags.

Look out for these terrific projects and events being developed in 2019. For more on CASP, including previous projects, click here.

Image: artwork detail, Kelly Leonard

Image: artwork detail, Kelly Leonard

Join our team!


Are you passionate about Indigenous arts? Do you want to contribute to and support regional creative communities? Orana Arts is seeking applications for a part-time (21 hours a week) Aboriginal Arts Project Curator to assist the Orana Arts team in delivering and developing exhibitions under the OA Aboriginal arts programs across the Orana region.

Position Description
You will be assisting with wide-ranging curatorial activities including contributing to ATSIA programs plans and strategies; community liaison and consultation; project support and development; managing creative performances and exhibitions; communications and marketing; and facilitating workshops across various locations. This role will also be supported by the Western Plains Cultural Centre, which provides the AAPC an opportunity to work with the WPCC curatorial team.

The AAPC will work with the Project Manager to curate a culturally appropriate exhibition utilising a cross-disciplinary approach — in keeping with the innovative approach of the CETA program. Through this process the curator will gain experience in planning an exhibition; sourcing content; approaching and working with artists; liaising with community; working with the Project Manager and the Communications Manager to execute and promote the exhibition. 

The Aboriginal Arts Project Curator will be required to:
assist in the development of partnerships, opportunities, programs and projects with creatives, organisations and community groups to enhance creative skills, practice and knowledge
— oversee the OA exhibition space at the WPCC
— support the development of artists database
— assist in ATSIA programs communications
— curate Aboriginal Arts exhibition 

Skills and Experience
The successful candidate will:
— be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage
— have a keen interest in regional Aboriginal Arts and culture
— have a demonstrated capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of an Aboriginal Arts and Culture projects and team
— hold an Employee Working with Children Check (mandatory)
— be prepared to undertake an Australian Criminal History Check (mandatory)
— hold a current NSW Driver’s Licence (mandatory) and be willing to travel
— be motivated and reliable

Please submit your application, including a cover letter and resumé, by 5pm, Friday 1 February 2019. To speak with someone about this exciting opportunity, please contact:

Alicia Leggett
Executive Director
0429 945 811

Please note: you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident to apply for this position. This role as been funded by Create NSW from the Creative Koori initiative and is a six month contract position.

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Create NSW Creating New Income: a Toolkit to Support Creative Practice

At the recent Artstate NSW conference in Bathurst, Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin MLC announced the creation of a Toolkit to support creative practice. Here you’ll find guides and resources to help generate revenue for your creative practice. The Toolkit is tailored to creative practitioners and small to medium organisations.

Create NSW has taken a “how to” approach to each topic, showing the steps needed to grow and develop income streams from sources such as philanthropy, sponsorship, crowdfunding and new products.

Individual guides contain links to related information throughout the Toolkit and case studies of success from around NSW. Alongside each of the guides you’ll find links to further resources sourced from around the web to help kick-start your fundraising efforts.

Throughout the Toolkit you will find guides on a range of topics to inform and assist your revenue raising practices. These short clear guides can be dipped into as needed. The Toolkit is not designed to be read cover-to-cover.


Download the full Toolkit or dip into the individual guides that relate to your area of interest.

Full Creating New Income Toolkit

Being Fit For Fundraising Toolkit

Building Your Donor Base Toolkit

Telling Your Story Toolkit

Trusts and Foundations Toolkit

Major Gifts Toolkit

Crowdfunding and Collective Giving Toolkit

Business Sponsorship Toolkit

New Products and Services Toolkit

Case Studies

If you would like to discuss elements of your professional development or formulate plans at a local level please get in touch with us:

Hanging out with OA for six years: farewell to Paris Norton

Art Unlimited 2012: a young aspiring photographer takes the Orana Arts prize for Emerging Indigenous Artist. The winning photograph ‘Uncle Bud’ played with layering techniques aiming for texture, while capturing an image of cultural strength and pride. It was evident that the artist had self-imposed a challenge with the medium as well as the subject and it inspired me to award this work the prize. The artwork was progressive and refreshing and very much a representation of the young artist — and it was this energy that was eventually brought to Orana Arts when Paris Norton joined the team.

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After my brief encounter with Paris at the exhibition in Dunedoo, I tracked her down in her boutique store in Coonabarabran to encourage her to participate in our Left Field Project. Her involvement with OA went from artist to part-time admin support as an unofficial member of the team. As months passed and funding became available, a few days grew into a few years and a full time position resulting into Paris becoming our ATSIA Programs Manager. 

Her humility has always struck me as her strength; her ability to inspire those around her either with her creative vision or leading conversations by pushing for Aboriginal voices to be heard. Her brainchild, the CETA program, is evidence of her abilities. 

Paris may say that I was a major part of her growth in the arts world, but she has given me more than she could ever imagine. Her insight and respect for her culture provided me with what I needed most in my role: someone that I can talk to, someone who helped guide me and our organisation in moving forward with Aboriginal programs and artists. Someone described Paris to me as being gentle, with an ability to be persuasive in her commentary on Indigenous issues. She stands very tall and proud as a Gamilaroi woman and I’m confident that her voice is one that will be heard by many future generations. 

Warm and fuzzy feelings are scarce in my role as Executive Director, but I received one from Paris when she jokingly mentioned that her family referred to me as her ‘American Mom’ and then at a panel session that Paris was convening for OA, as I sat in the audience her Mum turned to me and said, ‘oh, Alicia our little girl is all grown up’. Yes, she is all grown up and I will miss her! 

The greatest compliment I could have received as the boss of OA was to have staff headhunted out of my team for greater opportunities within a major cultural institute, and on behalf of our Board and the OA team we wish Paris well in her new role as AIATSIS curator,  we can’t wait to see what she brings to the position. 


Alicia Rodriguez Leggett
Executive Director 


PS – Paris will still be overseeing many of her own programs and supporting her mentee Danielle Andrews as she joins the OA Board as a co-opted member in 2019.