A small team doing big things.
Alicia has a background that includes broad international experience in the visual arts world. Born in Cuba, Alicia grew up and has lived much of her life in New York City. She became interested in fine art when studying Art History as an undergraduate at Rutgers University.
A few years working as an investment banker sent her back to school for her Masters in 17th Century Spanish Art at Syracuse University. Alicia then went on to fill several creative industry roles: manager of a commercial arts publication, art dealer, and commercial gallery director (Director of Arcadia Gallery of Fine Arts in New York).
Alicia met her Australian husband NYC and the couple eventually decided to move to Australia to raise their family. After 2 years in Sydney the family moved to the Orana region. Now her focus is on regional arts and expansion and advocacy for artists from the Orana region. Her focus is on brokering opportunities through strategic partnerships and projects; enriching and supporting our communities with the development of the arts; and growing audiences for all art forms.
Paris Norton is a Gamilaroi woman who grew up in the regional town of Coonabarabran. She spent her schooling years in Brisbane but returned to her hometown in 2009. For the past few years, she has worked closely with the community as a facilitator for many arts projects driven by community and local government. Paris is a self-taught photographer and a practicing multi-media artist and who values her tradition and brings new dialogues to Indigenous issues through her arts practice and her work.
Portia joined Orana Arts in April 2016. She was program officer at the NSW Writers’ Centre in Sydney, as well as General Manager for Sydney-based publishing and events platform Seizure, before deciding to pursue her interest in regional arts development in the most direct way she could: moving to a regional town and developing and supporting cultural projects there.
Now based in Mudgee, Portia is the Mudgee Readers’ Festival general manager and occasional collaborator with Mudgee Underground. Through this work she is proud to have facilitated a regional-urban cultural exchange: bringing her Seizure collaborators and other creatives to regional arts events and partnering regional artists with them for Sydney-based events.
Strategic Projects and partnerships
CSI Music Teacher
Michelle Hall comes to Orana Arts after starting her arts career in Brewarrina, before becoming a RADO in Outback NSW. She then travelled the road to Sydney, becoming the first cultural officer for Local Government NSW, the peak body for Local Government, advising all local governments in NSW in regards to cultural policy, projects and infrastructure.
After 8 years , she moved from Clarence St to Surry Hills, working as Client Manager for a number of ATSIA, Theatre and Community Partnerships organisations at the Australia Council for the Arts. From these roles, Michelle brings extensive experience in policy, strategy and project management to Orana Arts alongside a national perspective of the arts industry and in-depth knowledge of Local Government.
Since leaving the Australia Council Michelle has worked with nationally recognised companies such as Euraba Artists and Papermakers, DADAA WA, Beyond Empathy and Somebody’s Daughter Theatre (Vic).
After developing and implementing the successful Left Field Project 2, Michelle is now focused on our Creative and Social Investment (CSI) Program, which is being rolled out in Wellington and Cessnock in 2018, as well as developing our next strategic plan.
Dale Freeman began playing and performing guitar 15 years ago. Beginning in local Dubbo youth bands Dale played in a variety of local Dubbo concerts. Dale also performed in and co-arranged pieces for the Delroy High School band while studying music theory under the tuition of Steve Parry.
In 1998 Dale became a co founder/producer/director of the 'Back To The Grind Youth Music Festival' running over 4 consecutive years and featuring 18 hours straight of live Dubbo music and musicians, it helped to showcase Dubbo's large variety of musical talents.
In 1999 Dale enrolled at the Macquarie Conservatorium of Music and studied Classical Guitar under Greg Gordon for 18 months, becoming a skilled and competent classical guitarist. Since the year 2000 Dale has also studied Banjo, Lapsteel Guitar, Mandolin, Banjolin, Ukulele, Bass guitar and Dulcimer. Dale also studied the history of Classical music, Jazz and rock in this period of time and played and toured to Queensland, Sydney, Newcastle, and Canberra. Locally Dale has performed solo guitar pieces ranging from Bach and Beethoven to the Beatles and Santana at the Claypan Gallery. He also runs a youth music night at the Pastoral Hotel every second Tuesday. Where he performs with and promotes the younger bands and musicians in Dubbo.
For the past 4 years Dale has also been involved in the DATS musicals and pantomimes, playing bass guitar. Dale also performs regularly at the Midnight Cafe as well as private functions playing a wide variety of both musical styles and instruments depending on the situation.