Parkes Arts Festival to celebrate the little things

BRAINSTORMING: The Parkes Arts Festival Inc committee putting their creative minds together for this year's event.
BRAINSTORMING: The Parkes Arts Festival Inc committee putting their creative minds together for this year's event.

It might take our best creative minds to work out how to COVID-proof an event in 2021, well that's exactly what the Parkes Arts Festival has behind it.

The committee of the now incorporated entity has started to meet, and put together a program that celebrates the arts in Parkes later this year - one that should be able to proceed even if COVID restrictions remain or are tightened.

Margot Jolly, who co-chairs the committee with Deb Jones, says they're working on concepts that will share the arts through the community across a period of time, rather than rely on bringing a lot of people together in a short space of time.

"We're looking for ways to create an atmosphere where people will be seeing different things but can comply with COVID regulations," she said.

Council representative Bill Jayet adds it's important to the group to build on the success of the first festival, in 2020, even if it has to be by small degrees.

After taking the first critical steps to bring the festival to reality in 2020, they are determined to continue this year to secure its place on the calendar.

"We hope it will go not only to our shire - Peak Hill, Trundle, Tullamore, Bogan Gate - but to the whole district," Cr Jayet said.

The festival was birthed to revive the arts in Parkes and had some amazing successes including the exhibition, pop-up staff event and the soiree at the Little Theatre.

Most of the workshops that were offered sold out, and a series of one-act plays gave local amateur performers and opportunity to take the stage.

This year they do hope to continue to offer new opportunities and learning experiences in some different fields.

"One of our main objectives is to provide access to everybody in the community experience in the creative areas - performance, singing, dancing, music - we're aiming to get across as many demographics and mediums as we can," Margot said.

This festival is as much about connecting established and emerging artists - across all demographics and mediums - as it is about providing new opportunities for the local community.

As much as possible will be free, they'll only look to cover costs.

If the festival is a wide range of small opportunities, that in itself provides avenues to explore, publicity officer Roxanne Gallacher pointed out.

"Even if we need to keep it small we can celebrate the small, that is really valuable, rather than getting caught up in what could have been," she said.

The format should also provide lots of opportunity for many community members to be involved and the committee would like interested people to get in touch. Membership is just $5.

They'd also love to hear from anyone who would like to sponsor or support this year's festival.