New energy in the chair for Arts Upper Hunter

Filed in Just In by April 28, 2021

NEW Chair of Arts Upper Hunter, Ivan Skaine’s new appointment in the organisation comes on the heels of the Covid pandemic’s impact on the creative industries.

Mr Skaines, who stepped into the role from his previous position as Vice-Chair is seeking to inject new energy into Arts Upper Hunter and reinvigorate Arts in the creative industries across the Shires of Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter.  

The Covid pandemic stemmed the ability of many arts organisations to put on performances and exhibitions. In a general sense Arts Upper Hunter builds connections between people and organisations in the region.

“We facilitate networking opportunities from the Upper Hunter to other regions like the Lower Hunter. In a practical sense, we’ve put some micro-grants out to encourage individuals to maybe purchase equipment or stage an event.” Mr Skaines said.

“It’s been a tough time for people and organisations for people in the creative and cultural industries.  That ranges right through from people involved in performance right through to museums and exhibitions. It’s affected many people,” he said.

The organisation has spent $130,000 from the NSW Government through Create NSW to kickstart arts and culture in the region.

“Even a small injection of cash means a great deal because people volunteer their time or they contribute in other ways. Sometimes people need a bit of support and a little bit of encouragement so the micro-grants certainly help with that.

“Our immediate priority is recruiting a new Executive Director/Regional Arts Development Officer.  Our longer-term aims include increasing and diversifying our income, building on existing partnerships and developing new ones and generally providing day-to-day and strategic support for the creative industries in the Upper Hunter”.

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