Southern Tablelands Arts May 2020  

Al Phemister in his studio.
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When was your day zero? The day life changed and your daily routine altered in line with social distancing and concerns for the health and safety of yourself and loved ones. For me, it was my first day at Southern Tablelands Arts.

On that day, I picked up a laptop with a few paper files and spent the morning sitting in a park 1.5 metres from the STA board president Susan Brindle. We discussed many things, chief amongst them was that this pandemic was going to hit hard and that artists, musicians, writers, dancers, singers, in fact all creatives, were going to be among the hardest hit.

As work dries up and events are cancelled, the structures we all enjoy to engage with our creatives and the work they produce would change. We made it our mission to make sure STA used this time to innovate and help create avenues for artists to keep connecting with their audiences.

Over the last month, STA has rolled out a new look newsletter especially tailored for these socially distanced times. We filter resources, options and information from the internet to directly benefit our community and publish to inboxes every Wednesday evening.

We have also launched a weekly program called Stories from the Studio. Every week STA virtually visit an artist from our region and talk about what is happening in their studio. The program has been a revelation. The response from our creative community has been overwhelming as they share the good and bad news about their experiences. Ultimately, it’s the stories of invention, tenacity and the power of creativity to inspire hope that shines through. Sharing the Stories from the Studio every Friday over our social media channels and website has become a highpoint of my week.

As we all spend more time in the house, I invite you to consider whether a work of art might make it more of a home, whether reading new work by a local author might be the perfect way to spend an afternoon or if the downloadable music from a local band might be just what you need to celebrate the weekend. There is fabulous work being created all around us and STA can help you connect with it and support the creatives who make it.

Rose Marin
Executive Director
Southern Tablelands Arts

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