Artistic teams chosen for two-year project with community halls

SEVEN artistic teams have been chosen to work with seven Northern Rivers halls and their committees as part of the If These Halls Could Talk two-year project.

The halls' committee members met with the artists at Ewingsdale Hall yesterday to begin workshopping ways of collecting oral histories and images in their communities.

EUREKA: The team working on a production for the Eureka Hall as part of the If These Halls Could Talk project. Julian Louis, artistic director of  NORPA and Marisa Snow, executive producer of NORPA and Eureka Hall committee member.
EUREKA: The team working on a production for the Eureka Hall as part of the If These Halls Could Talk project. Julian Louis, artistic director of NORPA and Marisa Snow, executive producer of NORPA and Eureka Hall committee member. Cathryn McLauchlan

The project is led by Arts Northern Rivers.

Its chief executive, Peter Wood, said artists with a track record of working with communities were picked.

"We wanted to engage artists who ... had a commitment to making sure a community voice was heard," he said.

"We tried to mix up the genres, so everything from film to performance to music, so it makes an interesting spread for the project."

At the end of the year the collaborations will come together as a final performance hosted at each hall.

The team working on Eureka Hall, 15 minutes west of Bangalow, is Marisa Snow from the Eureka hall committee and Norpa, and Julian Louis who is the artistic director of Norpa.

Ms Snow said the collaboration between artist, hall committee and the community would encourage people to engage with the space.

"Eureka hasn't had much of an opportunity to bring much artistic work through the hall because it's still very much set in a rural setting," she said.

"The committee is really excited about seeing it used in a different way and bringing to light some of the community's stories.

"Halls used to have a lot of purpose 100 years ago and it's nice to give the community the opportunity to engage with them."

Mr Louis said he was looking forward to creating a production based on community members stories.

"This project will use spoken word and movement, imagery, sound and music. Therefore it's great to have the stimulus for all of that work coming out of stories or history," he said.

While the team is saving the idea generation process for when they meet with community members, they said they were keen to celebrate past and present stories that could be performed in different halls, or even theatres, in the region.



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