Coronavirus doesn’t daunt Alice creative community

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By JEN STANDISH-WHITE

With grateful thanks to the welcoming support of the Alice Springs News, Centred on Arts is back, and we are eager once again to highlight the tangible expression that our creative community brings to the unique place we choose to live in, Alice Springs.

Since late March, the blows to our local creatives has been neither subtle nor friendly and the need for community and connection paramount.

We came together over email, over Zoom and at appropriate social distances (to borrow a lyric from local musician Resin Moon’s Shake Your Booty track).

With many of our much loved and iconic arts and music events, including Wide Open Space, Bush Bands Bash, Desert Song and Unbroken Land, either cancelled or reimagined into an online format, our local creative community has had to dig deep, reach out to each-other and innovate.

With the COVID restrictions easing, people have begun to venture out and come together again; yet after those months of lockdown crisis, this still begs the question: How are our artists? Our arts workers? Our arts enjoying local community?

This is not an easy question to answer.

It is more a question as we tentatively start to freely participate and come together as a community to find a new understanding of ourselves and others.

More than ever, it’s a time for us to focus on the medicine of art.

The science of creative expression as a path to healing; to put this into action through our initiatives as a community as we utilise the wonder of our vibrant and active arts community to bring the medicine of art to our Alice.

It’s beginning to happen at local places like the Women’s Museum of Australia with thanks to Markus Kuchenbuch and the melodious Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra (photo by Oliver Eclipse). The pure joy on the faces of those attending aptly illustrating the utmost importance of the arts on one’s social and emotional wellbeing as the orchestra applies its healing salves.

This coming Thursday (September 3 at 7.30pm) will see the online launch of Sustainable Couture’s 2020 collection.  Filmed at its usual venue, the Central Australian Aviation Museum, 12 local, intrastate, and interstate designers will bring their unique, sometimes quirky, always stylish, fabulous fashion made from recycled materials to an audience that will this year reach beyond the usual sell-out live audience.

Another online launch not to be missed is the Desert Mob Symposium from September 4 to 11.  Since 1991, Desert Mob has nurtured and mapped the phenomenal rise of contemporary Aboriginal art from the desert to its current renowned position as one of the most important art movements and forms of cultural expression in the world.

Now in its 30th year, celebrations of this milestone will be postponed until 2021 due to the current pandemic. However, the Desert Mob Marketplace will be hosted online from the September 12 to 19 and the annual art exhibition at Araluen Arts Centre being presented at Araluen from September 11 to the October 25 with online sales from 9am and free ticketed public viewing from 1pm to 8pm.

Dan Milne, the founding director of the newly created On The Wing Theatre Co is leading a group of storytellers who have a passion for theatre that engages, evokes and entertains, with a focus on challenging the traditional “theatre-going” experience.

If you’re aged 18 years or older, auditions to join this newly-founded dynamic performing arts organisation, nestled right here in our red heart of Australia, are happening on September 5 and 6 from 10am to midday at Red Hot Arts Central Australia.

And last but by no means least, celebrating 20 years of desert culture and art and featuring an all-local line-up, Desert Festival 2020 will open on Thursday, September 24 with a street party and parade at the Alice Springs Town Council Night Markets.

Over 10 days Alice Springs will be treated to a feast of music, art, film, and theatre, with a range of free and ticketed events. So, get your social bubble ready and sanitise those hands because it’s time to celebrate our innovative and extraordinary local arts community.

Says the great Esther Anatolitis of ArtsHub: “We have some very generous philanthropists in Australia, but we also know that the biggest philanthropists are the artists themselves, contributing so very much to their own work as well as seeing and collecting the work of others.”

So, our heartfelt thank you to our local artists, in all your creative expressions; and we look forward to all the wonder, education, work and genius to come.

For more information head to our website.

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