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Perspectives, Issue #017--Tropical Island Pictures
July 14, 2010

"Perspectives" - Tropical Island Pictures


At the beginning of June I ran workshops in Port Douglas in aspects of organizing arts events. Attended by twenty or so artists and arts workers, the workshops covered quite a lot.

How to apply for government funding, develop sponsorships/partnerships and seek philanthropic donations for an arts project were just the beginning. Attendees worked through quick exercises in the planning and implementation of strategies for organizing an arts festival, from developing aims and a business plan to curating an exhibition.

All of these principles can be applied to the organization of other events – from a music festival to a school fete – so participants took away skills that they could use in their own arts practice, business or community endeavour.

In the next few weeks I shall revise the course material and develop it into an e-book, which will be able to be downloaded from this site. You will be the first to know about that when it happens!

It took me many weeks to write the course so I was well and truly ready for a holiday when my sister, Robin, came to visit from Western Australia.


We hired a camper van with all ‘mod cons’ and spent a week wandering around old mining towns and the fertile and green Atherton Tablelands, then, via tea and coffee plantations down the steep and winding range to Innisfail and Mission Beach (Cassowary Country).

I have been to Dunk Island a number of times but I still love its beauty and peace (hardly a tourist in sight!). Sitting at the northern edge of the Family group of islands and just ten kilometers off-shore, Dunk (Coonanglebah to the original indigenous inhabitants) was the home of writer and naturalist, E.J. (Ted) Banfield and his wife, Bertha, from 1897 until his death in 1923.

Theirs is a romantic story of love, persistence and hard work on his "Isle of Dreams — this unkempt, unrestrained garden where the centuries gaze upon perpetual summer".

They are both buried on the island and their story has become something of a local legend, the subject of a series of paintings by artist, Jim Olsson.


This multi-arts festival is now in its third year and shaping up to be another excellent showcase for the Arts of the region. More than a dozen separate events, from exhibitions, musical recitals, Torres Straits dancing performances and wonderful arts workshops, that can’t be found elsewhere, are on offer.

This year I have handed the festival coordination reins to Sarah Goldfinch and am taking more of a mentoring role.

One of our greatest difficulties is managing to pay for the unavoidable costs, such as advertising, insurance, entertainment, venue hire and the like. So if you are able to donate some cash, in-kind support or time to help it would be greatly appreciated.

Philanthropy in the Arts in Australia is growing. For artists or an arts organization, donations are very cost efficient compared with, say applying for government funding, which requires weeks of work, time which could be spent better on more creative pursuits – in my opinion!

Donors enjoy seeing worthwhile arts projects develop, knowing that their help has contributed to the strength of individual artists and the communities which encourage them.


The website has a few new sections, the latest being

‘sell your art’ for Australian artists and ‘have your say’ , a brand new forum about anything art related. So do join in and tell us all what’s on your mind!

YES! you may forward this email to your friends. They, also, may wish to subscribe to the newsletter by visiting the Art in Tropical Australia home page.

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