The Annexe, Art Gallery of BallaratThis year has been one of stability, growth and much hard work.
At the prompting of Susanne Graham the Committee refined who we are, and the aims and vision of BAA as follows:
Ballarat Arts Alive is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that provides a flexible forum for discussion, development, advocacy and action supporting the arts and artists of Ballarat and surrounds.
Our Vision is to see a vibrant creative culture in Ballarat and surrounds
Our Aims are to:
- promote local arts events, activities and opportunities
- connect the arts community through networking, promotion and discussion.
- foster opportunities through events and projects
Alison Eldridge, Aldona Kmiec and Haydn Smith updated the website, now migrated to the new domain of ballaratartsalive.org. Yum Studio was thanked for its previous hosting, and Artadata Software for the current hosting of the website.
Susanne Graham was appointed Membership Officer, and in May our membership renewal campaign was launched. (Membership during the 2015 /16 year was estimated at 145) and this year to date is 48 individuals and 4 organisational members (Ballarat Arts Foundation, Wind & Sky Productions, Ballarat International Foto Biennale, The ARC Collective). Haydn outlined the benefits of membership and encouraged everyone to participate in the Facebook forum and to join the committee or subcommittees, and get involved with events and their planning.
These were largely funded by City of Ballarat’s Arts & Culture, and included the Festival of Slow Music Artbus, Mooramong and Artbus 7 & 8 visits to artists’ studios. A video of the Festival of Slow Music Artbus was shown. Haydn thanked Events Coordinator, Kiri Smart and Peter Sparkman who designed the ArtsBus posters.
BAA auspices member artists and organisations for the modest fee of 5%. This year we auspiced Pitcha Makin Fellas (City of Ballarat Community Impact Grant for a book, “What’s in a Name”, and No Name Artist Collaborations (Wind & Sky) for a RAV Quick Response Grant for a mentorship of music for film. These auspices were assisted by BAA Treasurer Tim Gay and Secretary Merle Hathaway.
BAA Facebook group now has over 1200 members with many lively discussions, postings and requests for help. Management of this forum has at times been challenging. Thanks to Aldona Kmiec for administration/moderation of site.
BAA wrote to the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for the Arts regarding large cuts to the Australia Council. This resulted in the replacement of Minister Brandis’ art fund with the more equitable Catalyst Fund. We also wrote to Council over Civic Hall and possible loss of its function as a major venue for the arts. Our lobbying has influenced Council’s decision to retain. BAA continues to monitor the Civic Hall, and also developments at the Railway Precinct, and the uncertain future of Backspace Gallery.
The ArtsAtlas project gave BAA and City of Ballarat joint IP (Intellectual Property) but it was rolled out across the state without consultation with us. There are also maintenance problems. We are having ongoing discussions with City of Ballarat and hope it resolves soon. With advocacy, issues are always discussed with the Committee before action.
Flourishing Ballarat arts scene
Voice FM TAP (The Arts Program), new music festival, Heritage festival, Laneways Festival, Cabaret Festival, White Night, Luxville, Main Bar, Lost Ones, MADE, Babushka, Laneways etc – are all adding to a flourishing arts scene in Ballarat. And approaches are being made by important outside organisations.
Goals for the coming year are to continue to build BAA profile, improve communication with our membership, build new membership, organise events, continue to provide an auspicing service for artists and organisations, and promote and develop our relationships with other arts organisations.
Election of Office Bearers
Ordinary Members: Aldona Kmiec, Kiri Smart, David Twomey, Dave Knowles, Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling, Shane Van Den Akker
Haydn thanked the Art Gallery of Ballarat for the use of the Annexe for our meeting tonight, all members of the Board and everyone who contributed to Ballarat Arts Alive this year.