2015 was the year CAN celebrated 30 years of service to arts, culture and community development.
Apart from a very fine celebration, CAN commemorated this significant achievement with a new name – WA was removed from the title in recognition of the fact that we are the last surviving Community Arts Network – and we unveiled a bold new logo.
It was also a year in which CAN said goodbye to its longest serving leader, the inspiring Pilar Kasat. We farewelled her in style in November to pursue her academic ambitions at Curtin University where she will be pursuing a doctorate in sustainable development.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the new CEO, who will start with CAN in the new year.
CAN’s work in regional areas continued to shine. Our Goomalling Yarns oral history project elicited beautiful stories from the community and led to the establishment of the Mavis Walley Collection of photographs in the State Library’s Storylines archive. Mavis Walley’s documentation of Noongar life in the 1930’s-50’s received considerable attention from national media because it’s a unique Noongar perspective on that era of Noongar life. We are continuing to work with the Storylines team as we open up connections and stories with people in Busselton and surrounding areas.
The Bush Babies Elders portrait exhibition was selected as part of ART ON THE MOVE’s touring program and is already set to show in Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury, Katanning and Wanneroo in 2016 with other bookings coming in for 2017.
Noongar Pop Fashion – a project that harnessed teenage girls’ love of fashion to encourage them to learn new techniques and stay at school, produced a beautiful exhibition of textile fabrics and accessories that was the highlight of the City of Wanneroo’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.
Our hip hop stars Static Crew from Kellerberrin wowed audiences at key state and national events and even ended up on the Channel Nine Today show!
Our partnership with the Mental Health Commission led to Head Tales – a story sharing and writing workshop project that was delivered in regional and metro communities and the Bush Babies program, funded by the Commonwealth Ministry for the Arts, has been underway in Bunbury, Moora, Midland and Busselton.
To meet the latest needs in local government, CAN also designed and piloted a new suite of training programs to encourage a culture-centred approach to community strategic planning and assist LGA’s establish authentic dialogue with their communities through creative community engagement. Participating LGA’s were very positive about the three courses and offered excellent feedback for us to refine the curriculum before making it available next year.