Happy 1st Birthday To Us

Happy 1st Birthday To Us

It’s been one whole year since we formed and what an amazing year it has been . From our hesitant start to fill a hole in the community, we have gone from strength to strength. None of us could have predicted that we would finish our first year in existence by running a successful festival for the entire community! After all, all we wanted to do was to do art, together.

Let’s have a quick overview of what we have achieved in the last 12 months

  • Formed in late June 2017 after putting the word out on ABC Radio, local paper ad, and Facebook
  • Started meeting for art practice weekly at Feathers Cafe
  • Had our first grant success in August with council funding to pay incorporation fees
  • During August, September we applied for a CASP, a RAF, and a FRRR grant
  • During October Applied for TeamUp! grant
  • Became very visible about disability issues and art in our community in various meetings
  • Announced in November the Articulate Festival would be happening in June 2018 after successful grant
  • December brought the announcements of the successful CASP and RAF grants for 2018
  • Allison went to REMIX in December and mixed with art, culture, and technology types
  • January brought the start of Going Pro 2018! Our professional skills program
  • We moved into the shire hall in January for our creative practice
  • February was quiet after our training artist had to pull out
  • March was busy again with meeting our new council GM and working hard on getting Articulate Festival organised
  • We also Incorporated in March!
  • In April we organised our art workshops at Pilliga Pottery with Dr Riona Twomey-Tindal
  • May saw us announce we were successful in our FundAbility and we ill be opening a creative retail SPACE!
  • Art workshops were sold out in May and proved to be a lovely weekend for all involved.
  • We became a registered charity in June
  • We met with Create NSW and Accessible Arts in June who came to Coonabarabran!
  • We ran a very successful Articulate Festival in June

In our first year we had some incredible wins. We have doubled our membership. Our members have done well at local shows. We think we are better known in the community now. In our first year we have also had some scrapes – we have had members in hospital, a member has moved away, opposition and discrimination from local groups, and struggled for support in some areas, Though we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, we have done great things in 12 months and have continuing big plans for year two!

Thank you to everyone who have helped and supported us in our first year. Special huge THANK YOUs to Brenda Baker of AbilityLinks who was there from day one for us;  Fiona Corme from Feathers Cafe who was the perfect example of how to be inclusive and treated us like anyone else that would want to make art in her business premises; Paris Norton, local artist and Orana Arts, who is invariably supportive and enthusiastic about what we are trying to achieve; Kodi Brady, Councillor and the best example of someone who would do anything for our community I have ever met; and Nikela Stafford of Yowie and Friends, a fellow doer, who gets excited when we talk about our ideas.

Art, Inclusion, and Culture

Art, Inclusion, and Culture

Wow, just WOW!

The Articulate Festival was amazing if we do say so ourselves. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and there was so much to see and do.

Close to 400 people came through the gates (and that is not counting volunteers, performers, and market stalls) – which isn’t bad for a first time effort. We know that bookings were made, and that commissions were requested, and that made us VERY happy.  Seeing so many happy faces on children also made us happy.

Here’s some other figures

8400+ visitors to the Articulate Website
4000+ Facebook page engagements
1400+ Facebook video views
almost 100 entries in the $100 competition
30 entries in the art competition
100% positive feedback

At posting, there’s been over 1300 views of the documentary-style video that the Council for Intellectual Disability made during the festival.

It looks like popular demand will drive an Articulate Festival in 2019 and we are sure things will be bigger AND better.
Lastly thank you to everyone who helped out, and to the businesses that supported this community event. We <3 you very much.

Art Space Coming To Coonabarabran

Art Space Coming To Coonabarabran

Coonabarabran is all about space and soon there will be an amazing new pop-up space appearing in John Street.

Creatives Collective ARI Inc. has been awarded a grant to test the viability of an art creation and exhibition space, run as a social enterprise, in Coonabarabran. The grant will cover 4 months of the space being open and in that time there will be exhibitions, workshops, creation of items for sale that will appeal to visitors of Coonabarabran and more. Also during that time an arts/retail employment skills program will be run. It is hoped that people eligible for the NDIS scheme will have a new opportunity to learn employable skills and join the community in a different way.

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

The grant was originally requested for half the $16,000+ amount awarded but the grant body FundAbility (a project by Northcott developed in partnership with Family and Community Services (FACS)) was so impressed with the concept that they offered to double the amount to allow for more time for the space to be open.

Creatives Collective have been vocal about their desire to make art and art creation more visible in Coonabarabran. Opting to put their energy where their ideas are, they went ahead and applied for the grant after the council rejected the suggestion to apply for an infrastructure grant to convert the slowly decaying historic bank/CTC/Community Centre building in John street to a creative space.

“Our first step is to find an accessible shop front in the Coonabarabran main street” says Creatives Collective in their  submission “There’s very few of those and we may have to make temporary adjustments to a shopfront to make it accessible to all residents and visitors to Coonabarabran”.

There is a very tight time-frame on getting the space open and Creatives Collective will be aiming to open very soon after the Articulate Festival that is on the 22nd and 23rd of June.

If you are an artist and wish to exhibit/sell your art in this new space then contact info@creativescollective.org and register your interest.


Creatives Collective ARI Inc. is extremely grateful for the support of FundAbility, Northcott, and FACS in getting the project to Coonabarabran.



Marching On

Marching On

Quarter 1 has gone and what do we have to show for it. A crazy quilt of life-things that have tested our resolve and patience, but we are still moving forward.

We met with the new Warrumbungle Shire General Manager, Roger Bailey, and explained who we are, and all about Articulate Festival, and what we need done super quickly. We still aren’t sure whether we can use the external carpark at the Shire Hall and as that makes up 50% of the space we want to use, it’s a really big deal. Currently we are having to do twice the planning and have designated April 14th as the cutoff date to just go with the hall. We will be very sad and disappointed if we need to reduce the event to just the hall space.

Sadly our workshop facilitator/professional artist, Jeremy Hawkes, was hospitalised the week before the workshop weekend, and we had to cancel. We hope Jeremy is well and truly on the mend. We all understand what it is like for these kind of things to happen (one of our members had to have an emergency hip replacement around the same time). We will be announcing our next workshop soon so keep an eye out.

Congratulations to member Caitlyn who won two prizes (a 1st + 2nd) in the Coonabarabran Show! Well done!

We are now an Incorporated Association! Boy did that take a lot of messing around. We didn’t just stop there with the messing around, and we have also registered as a Not-For-Profit, Charity, and DGR status.

We want more members. We know you are out there artists! We know you would love to benefit from all of the free experience, workshops, technology, exhibitions, and opportunities we have lines up/are organising. Come to one of our weekly creative events (we are now meeting twice a week, look for our new Tuesdays events at Feathers Cafe) or send us an email info@creativescollective.org for more information.

So what’s coming up in April?

  • Twice weekly creative practice
  • Announcement of next workshop
  • Submission of grants for pop-up creative space in main street
  • Entries into UneARThed and other local art shows
  • Hopefully our charity status will come through and we can purchase our Surface Pro tablets at a reduced cost
  • Look out community groups – we need YOU for Articulate Festival and will be contacting you soon



Arggh 1/12th of the year is gone already!

Arggh 1/12th of the year is gone already!


January was a write off  – that’s not a bad thing all-in-all. Down time is good for the brain, but boy is it bad for the creative habit. Especially when there’s heat, and fire, and family emergencies and all the rest of the things that get n the way of being fabulous! Not to fear, we are back on board and getting that momentum going.

This month the Going Pro 2018 members will be attending the first professional workshop which will provide their website, training on how to use it, and marketing fundamentals.

Our Entries Officer, Crystal, has started the bum-kicking for the upcoming Coonabarabran Show.

We will be confirming our first professional artist trainer for a March workshop for our Going Pro 2018 project!.

We will also need to be putting in the hard yards to get things moving on the Articulate Festival.

Our new creative space,  the Coonabarabran Shire Hall, is working out fine (once we find the light switches and how to turn the air-con on). Great open quiet space with good light, even today when it was completely overcast. Some good art is going to be produced there.

Bring it on 2018!




Local Artists with Disability – Sign Up Now!

Local Artists with Disability – Sign Up Now!

Make 2018 the year you take your art practice to the next level – for FREE. Join the Creatives Collective Artist Run Initiative (ARI) and get a whole bunch of education, support, and promotion. Come and join us, it’s going to be AWESOME!

What is an ARI?

An artist run initiative is when a group of artists come together and formally agree to work towards a common goal. The Creatives Collective ARI is participating in 12 months of professional development, culminating in a exhibition of the ARI member’s work.

Does it cost anything?

You supply your art supplies and equipment – everything else is provided for FREE.

So what do you get if you join the ARI?

In no particular order –

  • Free website with ecommerce facilities
  • Free training on how to update website
  • Free training on how to promote yourself online
  • Free workshops run by professional artists with disability
  • Free promotion of your work by your fellow ARI artists
  • Warm, loving, support from your peers. This is a safe space.
  • Free mentorship by professional artist Paris Norton on how to curate and prepare for exhibition
  • Free promotion of your work and profile via local media
  • Free exhibition of your work at year’s end
  • and more!

What are the requirements to join?

The only requirements are that you make visual art, you can get to Coonabarabran for workshops, and that you identify as experiencing disability. FYI – Creatives Collective subscribes to the social model of disability – if you (or your carers) recognise you are disadvantaged because of external attitudes and environment to your physical/mental self, then you are one of us 🙂

Isn’t that discrimination against able people?

No. We aren’t disadvantaging anyone by having our own peer group ARI.

This sounds great! How do I sign up?

Send an email to info@creativescollective.org and tell us about you (hurry: there’s limited places) before February 14th, 2018.

Creatives Collective thanks the Regional Arts Fund for support this initiative

Regional Arts NSW Logo