ENGAGEMENT: The Channon Hall and its loving (and talented) community.
ENGAGEMENT: The Channon Hall and its loving (and talented) community. Jules Ober

Northern Rivers art project celebrates history of halls

THE halls that hold the history of the Northern Rivers' villages will be the cornerstone of a new two-year arts project spearheaded by Arts Northern Rivers.

If These Halls Could Talk is a multi-arts project celebrating halls and the role they play in our communities.

The Northern Rivers is a region of different villages, many of which organisers say have halls as their "heart".

Arts Northern Rivers chief executive Peter Wood said he was looking for a project that would engage with the community and leave a legacy.

"I was looking around for a project that had a really strong community engagement," he said.

"And the idea of halls came up."

Mr Wood said many of the halls had incredible tales of resilience, which included surviving or rebuilding after cyclones or floods.

Arts Northern Rivers received funding for the project through the Arts NSW Regional Partnerships program.

Seven halls have been selected, with creative producers set to begin work with their community gathering histories, objects, images and tall tales about the halls.

Each creative producer will then join forces with a renowned artistic team tailored to the hall to develop an artistic response to the material gathered from the communities.

The artistic team embedded in each hall could potentially be made up of visual artists, theatre producers, musicians, installation artists, dancers or any other art form that can help tell the story of the hall.

Mr Wood said the community engagement process would begin next year followed by the creative development phase. The celebrations are expected to launch around the start of 2017.



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