The arts community in Lismore has many faces and they have been challenged by the loss of buildings, creative spaces, art, instruments and materials during the recent flooding by ex-cyclone Debbie. Many of the groups are getting back on their feet but they still need your support.
‘We lost just about everything,’ said Jylllie Jackson, artistic director and lunatic of the Lismore Lantern Parade.
Their premises in Lismore has been repeatedly cleaned out but is no longer habitable.
‘We are working out of the new workshop. The old one is poisonous, there is no power, the toilet is dodgy and it is unusable.
‘The new building is ok upstairs but the basement had two meters of water through it.’
Following the floods there were lots of volunteers who came on board to help clean up and get them back on their feet.
‘With our team we got quite a lot of help early in the piece. Some locals and lots from Mullum and Byron,’ continued Jylllie .
‘Many people have said how they love and need the lantern parade, but it is very hard asking for help when so many people have lost everything including many of our volunteers.’
None-the-less they have been working hard to repair and rebuild many of the damaged lanterns and are happy to announce that they now have enough to to participate in the Ipswich Festival on May 6.
Lismore Regional Gallery
In the mean time the Lismore Regional Gallery has said the move into their new building has been delayed by the flood until late October.
‘The new building, which is what everyone is asking about, is still under the builders insurance,’ said Gallery Director, Brett Adlington.
‘So from our point of view it was a good chance to test the building. A few minor alterations are being made to provide better flood resilience, but essentially, as the downstairs is largely brick, cement and glass it survived pretty well.’
The delay for opening has come primarily from the lift that arrived two days before Debbie and was damaged by the flooding. A new lift has been ordered but has to come from Europe.
The Friends of the Gallery AGM and event for 2017 will be held this evening 4 May at 5pm in the old gallery, 131 Molesworth St, Lismore.
The entire ground floor of the NORPA venue was lost including rehearsal and venue hire spaces, commercial kitchen, and the box office, telecommunications system and administration office. Staff now working from a makeshift office on our mezzanine level with one telephone line, sharing computers.
Patrick Healey, NORPA’s GM made the decision not to lay staff off, as the prospect of losing such an amazing team of artists, creatives and employees was considered a much bigger long-term risk to rebuilding our theatre company.
The remaining hurdle is to raise the remaining funds that will enable NORPA to rebuild the Studio and Rehearsal space. This is critical to NORPA’s ability to create new Australian theatre from their base in Lismore.
‘NORPA will survive, numerous challenges lay ahead however our future remains secure thanks to the amazing support of the Australian cultural sector who have managed a crowd funding campaign to assist us to with our rebuild,’ said Healey.
RedInc, who promote and assist artists with disabilities also struggled on through the floods after losing four of their offices. They managed to save the work of their artists and the IncREDible Art Show, at the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron went on just days after Debbie despite their losses. However, they are still not fully up and running.
There are many other arts facilities and groups who are trying to get back on their feet. If you would like to donate time or money to helping them in their work see the links below: