I’m very happy to welcome you to my hometown of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, on Wongatha land. I love living in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields for many reasons, including the layers of heritage, the striking landscape, the energetic creative industries and the feeling of constant change and possibility. It is very exciting to be able to share this with you.
In 2014 the Summit is about Arts & Edges. We Australians thrive on the edges of our country, but as you know many of us also live and work away from the coastal fringe, in our nation’s heart. At the core of Arts & Edges is three questions: What is at the centre? What is at the edges? And what are the possibilities? To spark up the fire of these ideas we have invited leading artists, thinkers and community innovators to share their approaches and work with us.
I am humbled and delighted by the epic support for the Summit, firstly from the artists and other cultural workers—the Summit is only possible because of you leaders. I note too the important leadership shown by our project partners, who understand the value of cultivating and investing in arts and cultural development. Our audiences are the final part of the magic, committing to a ticket in a leap of faith, taking a risk by seeing a fresh show, joining a workshop and a new creative experience or simply sharing the street-festival love and taking a few hot selfies with new friends.
Speaking of sharing the love, I believe this to be Australia’s biggest investment in the arts, by the arts, for the arts. Pro-bono work for shared good, barter, volunteerism and in-kind support are a pillar of the Australian arts sector. All of our blood, sweat, toil and tears keep the arts and culture in Australia living and thriving. The Summit offers us all a real moment to pause, a space in time to down tools and think on sustainability, future possibilities and savour our successes.
The Summit is all about strategies, frameworks, and professional development for artists, creative producers and anyone passionate about our Australian arts and culture sector. The innovative ideas and strategies essential for success in regional and remote areas are an accelerant for arts and cultural projects, wherever they are.
Since 2008 much of my work has been in remote Australia. Innovating beside creative people in very remote communities, I have learnt how vital it is to cooperate and support one’s neighbours and guests. Most thriving creative people I see are thinking and caring hyper-locally, whilst keeping a weather-eye on the big picture, on their nation’s and first nations’ cultural regions; across Australasia and beyond.
The past two years of working with the incredible Summit team and supporters around the Australasian region are nearing a peak in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Hundreds of people and groups are joining the Summit to network, develop, transfer skills, change minds and celebrate in a feast-of-all.
The question now is: in 2050, only 37 years from now, will you be able to chorus along with the LCD Soundsystem when they cheekily sing “I’m losing my edge to the kids…but I was there“