R Poole, Lismore
Hometown recognition is important. When a Lismore-based netball team or football club wins a grand final there’s a celebration. Their sports association or club holds an official event to mark the occasion and give credit to the team’s talent and dedication.
Likewise, each year, Lismore’s Chamber of Commerce (LCCI) stages an awards night where local businesses are recognised for their success and contribution to the region’s prosperity.
Yet no such process occurs in Lismore’s arts community. When local artists are included in mayoral, national, or international events, or win significant awards at these events, there’s no acknowledgement of the fact by local arts organisations – not even a phone call or email of congratulations!
How come? Why doesn’t Arts Northern Rivers reach out to or contact successful local artists? Aside from giving due recognition to the individuals involved, wouldn’t highlighting the success of local artists help bolster the creative profile of the region? Wouldn’t it benefit the local arts community to know it’s possible to live and work in a rural setting, yet still achieve notice elsewhere?
How supportive or engaged is Arts Northern Rivers really? And who are they accountable to in the quality of service they deliver (or not) to our community?
Unless artists speak up, how can this scenario change? All successful locals deserve recognition, including artists, and it would be nice if Lismore’s official ‘peak’ arts organisation was interested enough to at least say ‘Good on ya mate!’.