NORPA artistic director Julian Louis.
NORPA artistic director Julian Louis. Cathy Adams

State Government comes to aid of local arts groups

ARTS organisations on the Northern Rivers are celebrating after the latest round of funding from the NSW Government.

Recipients included Arts Northern Rivers, which scored $50,000 for stage three of the regional museum development.

The Byron Bay-based Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre picked up $55,000, while the Spaghetti Circus, which is based in Mullumbimby, received $20,000.

One of the biggest winners, however, was Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), which received $215,000 this year.

NORPA artistic director, Julian Louis, welcomed the new funding.

“It’s really great news for us. We actually asked for $235,000, which would have helped us employ a community producer to engage more with local artists,” he said. “But we have other options that we’re looking at. We’re really pleased.

“This funding will be used to deliver our artistic program for 2009.

“It will also help us create new works and enable us to invite other artists to come and work with us.

“We have a new initiative, called ‘Generator’, and a residency program. We have a busy year ahead.”

Mr Louis said it was important for NORPA to stay at the forefront of the regional performing arts
scene.

“We are one of the State’s leading regional companies, so we have to stay relevant,” he said. “This year we will be developing new ways to encourage people to come together to enjoy live theatre”

“We have a fantastic season of work coming up.”

Ballina MLC Amanda Fazio said the funding was “An investment in the cultural heritage and identity of the region.

“A flourishing arts environment promotes innovation, education and inclusion,” she said.

“The grants will help to enhance opportunities for local residents to participate in the arts. New arts initiatives will also help to boost tourism and the local economy.”



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