There’s something special about the Footscray Community Arts Centre. I have only recently been introduced to this organisation, but its reputation as one of the country’s leading community-based contemporary arts centres precedes it by a mile. When I finally made it there for the centre’s recent 40th birthday celebration, I found an inclusive, unpretentious gathering place for west Melbourne’s multicultural arts community — the sort of place where everyone seemed to know everyone. Its lovely riverside location is just an added sweetener. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit the FCAC, this Saturday is the perfect opportunity. The West Writers Our Stories Forum will feature panel discussions, presentations, launches, workshops and story walks, including a 1.5-hour workshop with award-winning author Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap, Loaded), a panel chaired by The Lifted Brow‘s editor-in-chief Sam Cooney, live performances by Still Nomads and the launch of Ascension Magazine. The event aims to examine the significance of stories in Australia’s diverse communities, and how this diversity is represented in the country’s literary scene. The forum runs …
Recently, a section of a short dead-end road opposite Barkly Square in Brunswick was transformed into a community space. I stumbled across an event here one day, where people were dancing in the street and painting the road with beautiful colours. You’ll also find some lovely street art here, including yarn bombs and gorgeous poster art. There are some large umbrellas and recycled crates to sit on if you feel like relaxing on Sydney Road. These community spaces only work if the community gets involved, so if you’re a Brunswick local why not check it out? Update: The Brunswick Community Art Space no longer exists.
No excuses to stay in this Saturday night, folks, with two great free events happening over the weekend. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl will showcase the last of three free summer concerts performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 22 Feburary (the second of these will take place tonight). Take a picnic blanket and some nibbles and stretch out under the stars — this is one of my favourite events of the summer. Both tonight’s and Saturday’s concerts begin at 7pm, but it’s best to arrive early to stake out a decent spot on the grass. Also kicking off this Saturday evening is White Night Melbourne, an event that will see Melbourne’s CBD transformed with light installations, street performances, film screenings, music, food, fashion and much more from 7pm until 7am on Sunday. There will be over 100 free events happening over the 12 hours, with many of Melbourne’s major cultural institutions taking part. Last year’s inaugural White Night event attracted over 300,000 visitors, so this year will surely be a busy one. To …
Australia’s Indigenous cultures are the oldest continuing cultures in the world, stretching back at least 50,000 years. Unfortunately, we in the big cities are rarely treated to the these cultures as most Indigenous people live in rural areas — but for the next ten days all that will change. The Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, which kicked off on the 5th, showcases the work of Indigenous musicians, dancers, actors, writers, visual artists and many more. This weekend, Federation Square and Birrarung Marr will be packed with free events, including performances by well-known Indigenous singers Archie Roach and Jessica Mauboy, dance performances, a Koorioboree, and the Koorie Night Market. For more details on these events and many more, check out the full online MIAF programme. Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival 2014 Dates: 5–16 February, 2014 Times: 10am–late Where: Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Tomorrow the 10th annual Emerging Writers’ Festival begins, bringing together writers, editors, publishers and performers for 50 events across Melbourne. Many of the events are free, and the ticketed events are generally affordable. For a full run down of the EWF 2013 programme, click here. You can also find a full list of participating writers here. Many events have already booked out, so get in early if you want to secure tickets. If you love writing, this one’s for you. Emerging Writers’ Festival 2013 Date: 23 May — 2 June 2013 Festival Hub: Thousand Pound Bend, 631 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
V V V The well-known Australian artist Tim Storrier has won the country’s most prestigious art award for portraiture, the Archibald Prize. The prize was first awarded in 1921, with the winner receiving £400. Today, the prize is worth $75,000. According to the official guidelines, the winning portrait should be ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the [closing] date’. You can view Storrier’s winning self-portrait here. There are also some amazing pieces among the forty-one works that made it to the finals. V For more info, check out these links: Wikipedia’s Archibald Prize page ‘Tim Storrier wins Archibald Prize’ story from The Age, 30 March 2012 Tim Storrier’s website V
Platform Artists Group is a not-for-profit organisation that was established back in 1990. This artist-run initiative showcases artworks in two public spaces: the windows in the Campbell Arcade (also called the Degraves Street Subway) and in the Majorca Building in Flinders Lane. The Campbell Arcade is an interesting sight in itself. Built in 1956 for the Melbourne Olympic Games, this space is a great example of Art Deco architecture. There are also a few cafes and sweet little shops down here that are fun to explore on a rainy afternoon.