OH&S News

Stone as a backdrop to the arts

In the Goulburn Valley town of Dookie, an old granite quarry will be reborn as an open-air performance space and a canvas for multimedia.
”It’s just a beautiful environment,” Dookie Arts’ Leiticia Harmer said of the quarry. ”You can’t help but be inspired.”
Ms Harmer told Quarry that Dookie Arts has already started with the project and is working towards its launch in October 2014, with a dusk to dawn event at the Dookie quarry.
Ms Harmer said that Dookie has a population of around 380 people but is surrounded by 52 satellite towns that will have access to the events. She said that it would ?be fabulous for Dookie if it could also attract tourism?.
The Dookie quarry is easily accessible as it is situated on the town?s boundary within easy walking distance.
Once upon a time the quarry provided granite for use in building Melbourne?s Parliament House but has sat idle for the past 79 years. Now it will be reborn as a place of entertainment and culture. 
The grant money given to Dookie Arts was part of the Victorian State Government?s Small Town Transformations program. Victorian Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria said the program aims to support small towns to undertake an arts project that has the potential to transform a town and its people. 
?We will have all sorts of arts,? said Harmer. ?We hope to stage everything from photography exhibitions to opera and comedy. Basically we want to bring the city to the country.?
Ms Victoria said the program, delivered through Regional Arts Victoria, sought creative ideas from Victorian towns with populations of less than 1500 people. 
Sixty-five submissions were received, demonstrating the wealth of creative thinking, artistic talent and innovation that resides in regional areas across the state. 
?It’s things like transforming people’s anticipation and participation in the arts, it’s about the way those artistic projects generate volunteering, business activity, local trade, tourism, the identity of the town, local resilience, health and wellbeing,? said Regional Art Victoria’s Esther Anatolitis.
Sources: The Standard, The Hon Heidi Victoria MP, Victorian Minister for the Arts, Women?s Affairs and Consumer Affairs

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