Moranbah

 

 

During 2013 a team of artists from Crossroad Arts took up residencies at 3 Moranbah Schools and the Community Centre to develop a multi arts program which gave greater access to people who live with a disability.

The project culminated on Nov 1st and 2nd in a photographic exhibition, film and visual art installation and a play.

 

 

 

 

Reviews

Beyond Boundaries Project Moranbah November 2013-11-04


“Possibly the best thing I have ever seen in Moranbah. Steve Mayer-Miller and the Crossroad Arts team are nothing short of inspirational. Thankyou so much for the support you gave. Without that amazing community spirit none of this would have been possible. Crossroad Arts please come again.”    Jo Andrews . Teacher

“Beautiful performance in every possible way. Can’t recommend it highly enough.”  Alison Mitchell

“Absolutely brilliant! Would go back again and again. Thankyou to all that made this possible.”  Shawnnita Fairbairn

 

 

The Moranbah Cast and Crew  of Taku   Sue smoke

The Moranbah Cast and Crew of Taku

 

Sue and Ryan working with the puppets during the opening night of Taku
     

Brenden Borellini runs a workshop on finger spelling for students at Moranbah High
  Brenden Borellini running a finger spelling workshop with Moranbah State Primary 
Brenden Borellini runs a workshop on Finger Spelling for students at Moranbah High     Brenden Borellini teaches Connor how to spell his name using Finger Spelling

 

 

Taku 4         taku2         taku3  
                       
Sue smoke 2 copy         taku5         taku6  
                       
taku7         Taku8         taku9  
                       
taku10         taku13         taku11  
                       
taku14         DSC 9728         DSC 9752 2  

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Boundaries

Beyond Boundaries project is a multi arts intergenerational program aimed at creating greater access for people experiencing a disability in the Mackay and Isaac Regions. 

In September 2012 Crossroad Arts responded to requests from teachers in Moranbah Schools to provide greater access and participation for students who experienced a disability. A series of meetings took place between representatives from Education Queensland, Isaac Council and Crossroad Arts, to negotiate a multi art program for schools and the community. The Beyond Boundaries Project was launched in March 2013 and involved a series of art workshop residencies in 3 schools and with the community at the Moranbah Community Centre. The program is planned over 5 years to include other towns in the Isaac and Mackay regions and to develop links between people with disabilities in aged care, schools and the wider community.

 

 

The Workshop Process:

The workshops began with students exploring memories of home. We used small cardboard boxes to create homes and towns and to find ways where students were able to talk openly about their own experiences and to find creative ways to express their thoughts and feelings. They created dances, made music and took on the roles of others as they acted out their hopes, their dreams and sometimes their frustrations. This process of art-making was a way in which the participant’s creativity found an outlet in which they were able to share it with others and to connect with their own sense of who they are.

 

The Photographic Exhibition

The photographs are a celebration of each person’s identity and their connection with family and community. The window they look out of became a motif for the project as a place of contemplation; of memories; and also a way of looking out beyond the immediate world to hopes and new discoveries. The elderly people in the photographs are from the memory unit at Homefield Aged Care in Mackay who work with Crossroad Arts in a series of art-making projects. One of the future aims of this intergenerational project is to bring young people and the elderly together to share their creativity.  

 

The Film and Memory Box Installation

Some of the films document individual memories of people, while some document the workshop process in the schools. They are there to celebrate the diversity and the richness of people’s lives. They also demonstrate a way in which the medium of art can so effectively channel our creativity in ways we can share with others.  The small boxes were given to people in Moranbah, Mackay and Japan with an open invitation to share a memory. 

 

The Play

The play was based around a series of interviews with students during the last residency in October 2013. From their own personal stories of collecting rocks and a fascination with meteors and birds, an imaginary story was woven together over two weeks. Students came to rehearsals during and after school time as well as the weekend to pull the production together.

The music was composed during the last week of rehearsals when musician Karen Bonham joined the team.

 

 

 

 

  The Crossroad Arts Team in Moranbah

 

 

Steve Mayer-Miller:  Artistic Director/CEO:

Steve has spent 32 years working professionally in theatre, film and design, collaborating with communities throughout Australia, India, the UK and the Asia Pacific region.  His theatre training was in London with Theatre Complicite.  In 1988 he was awarded the national sharing our future art award in Canberra for his work on a community sculpture project Harmonia with newly arrived refugees in South West Sydney. 

He established Crossroad Arts in 1997 and has led its development from a small community arts and cultural development organisation in Mackay to one that now works across Queensland and internationally.  In 2011 he travelled to India to co-write and co-direct the play with Love with Mallika Sarabhai on the life of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.  The success of the play led to a national tour.  Steve has worked with the disability community since 1991 when he set up the Mackay Deaf Theatre and was presented with the Shatter Silence Award for services to the deaf community. In October this year he travelled to Japan where he worked with people with disabilities affected by the Fukushima earthquake.

He was nominated in the Arts Queensland Wall of Fame of Cultural Champions for 2013.

 

Anke Willems:

Anke is a facilitator, artist and developer of Community Cultural Development projects, with a long history in both performing arts and the education sector.

Since working for Crossroad Arts in 2008, Anke facilitated workshops and projects for diverse community groups including Skylight (for children of Deaf Adults), Rail (for young adults experiencing ASD / Aspergers).  Specific projects included: the 2010 Moranbah Lullabies, a multi-media event that involved projected images, live performance and storytelling as a result of facilitated workshops on the community, with a focus on young people.  Anke composed music and edited sound for this project: the 2011 Capella Project, which involved projection and performance, in a work built by students at Capella State High School.

Anke holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Education, has studied at the University of Adelaide and QUT Kelvin Grove and is currently completing a Masters in Community Cultural Development at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).

  

Rosie Fyvie:  

Rosie Fyvie graduated in 2012, award-wining student, receiving Dux and taking out 2012 Creative Excellence Award for earning the highest achievement within the disciplinary area of Visual Arts and Performing Arts.  Repeatedly recognised for creative, conceptual and artistic talents; when creating and being asessed on Stop-motion films, personally devised physical theatre performances; and exemplary work ethic.

Currently in her gap year, Rosie is working at Crossroad Arts as a Trainee Artist before going to study a Bachelor of Creative Industries and Human Services at Queensland University of Technology in 2014.  Her arts practice includes theatre and the production of Stop-motion films.  Rosie is both facilitating and assisting workshops with Crossroad Arts at both Homefield Aged Care and Bluecare Respite Centre.  

 

Brenden Borellini:  

Brenden has worked with Crossroad Arts over the past 2 years. He has worked in many roles including as an actor, workshop facilitator and a researcher. He has also served on Crossroad Art’s board. His first acting in the company was in the touring production of ‘Stranded’ in which he played the writer Homer. His second production was in the play ‘Whiff’ which opened at The Mackay Entertainment Centre in June 2012. The play explored the power of smell in the lives of a group of outsiders who arrive one day in a town. Brenden played the lead role of Max, a person who was able to mix perfumes and create unusual results  In Moranbah he has facilitated workshops in the teaching of sign language to both primary and high schools. In the production of Taku he plays the role of the grandfather and a puppeteer. 

Brenden was Young Australian of the Year in 1989 

 

Karen Bonham:

Karen Bonham is a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist with 25 years experience in performance, community music and theatre.  Karen was a foundation student at the Conservatorium of Music in Mackay in 1988 and went on to further study at the Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, where she graduated with Honours, having been awarded the Gibson Family Prize for Performance Excellence, the Ansett Airlines Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and the Pansy Wood Prize for Classical Language.  

Karen has extensive experience on both sides of the stage, having worked in lighting design, sound and stage management, returning to the Mackay Conservatorium in 1996 in the position of Events Manager, co-ordinating the International Artists Series and Australian Jazz and Blues Concert Series and Education Queensland School Links Instrumental and Vocal Programs.  Karen has worked with Crossroad Arts since 2005 as a vocal facilitator, composer and performer, having worked in Disability Employment Services and Community Development and Linkage programs for people experiencing disability and disadvantage since 2009.  A regular performer at the Mackay Festival of Arts Wine and Food Day and the Wintermoon Festival in Mackay, Karen is proud to have had the support of her local community as an emerging young artist and beyond.  Karen is firmly committed to paying forward that support and encouragement with the next generation of young artists and performers, as they begin their journey of creative expression.

 

Matthew Deane:  

Mathew has been actively involved in Crossroad Arts since March 2012. His first professional role was playing the gardener in the production of ‘Whiff’ which opened the 2012 Mackay Arts Festival.  Mathew followed it up with a dance role in the dance piece called ‘Cherish’ which was staged in the gardens of the Parish Church in December 2012.

Taku is Mathew’s first touring production. He plays the role of Taku’s puppeteer. Mathew is a keen musician and visual artist. His self portrait was published on Crossroad Art’s website this year. Mathew also works in grounds and maintenance at the Mackay Marina.

 

Crossroad Arts 

 

 

Crossroad Arts was established in 1996 for the purpose of engaging people with and without disabilities to create original stories in theatre, film, music, dance and visual art, about their lives and the region and celebrate the arts of difference. 

Our first 5 years was best summed up by Courier Mail Theatre Critic Alison Coates in her review of Letters from River Street “… an expression of community enterprise and commitment. This was community theatre at its best, using the musical, artistic and theatrical skills of local people, some with disabilities and some without, to create a work of immense power.”  Over the next 10 years the company consolidated their successes with a concerted educational mentorship program for emerging artists towards building a solid base of succession and pathways into the industry. It was characterised by a strong partnership drive with peer organisations such as Queensland Theatre Company and JUTE. Several mentorees went on to develop successful careers in the arts. This program still continues today in partnership with James Cook University, Contact Inc and Central Qld University. During this time the company developed a national and international profile with their work in disabilities and with the Indigenous and Australian South Sea Islander community. The play Melek mo Hani was invited to tour the South Sea Islands and went on to tour Australia through the Queensland Arts Council “This brilliant piece of storytelling richly deserves a return season…it should not be missed on any account. A work of national significance.” Arts Nexus Cairns 2008 The play will be published by Playlab Press in August 2013. In 2006, Regional Arts Australia invited the company to open the National Regional Arts Conference with their Indigenous and South Sea production of No 2 Stones. Crossroad Arts followed it up with a documentary film which was distributed nationally to 1500 people and continues today to sell to both local, national and overseas markets. In 2009, two members of the company’s Autism group RAIL travelled to Vancouver to receive Crossroad Art’s International artistic leadership award for their work with people with Autism. The program continues today and is the foundation for a new business model in developing commercial opportunities for the ASD artists.In 2011 the company partnered with Indian Performing Arts Academy Darpana in a cross cultural collaboration which resulted in a video linked exhibition, film and dance performance in Mackay with members of the local Indian community.  

Through the Asialink residency program, director Steve Mayer-Miller travelled to India and worked with the Ahmedabad organisation for 4 months to co-write and co-direct with Mallika Sarabhai, the critically acclaimed play ‘with Love’ on the life of Rabindranath Tagore which toured India in 2012. The success and benefits that came from the Indian collaboration was a turning point for Crossroad Arts, in creating further cross-cultural links with Asian communities. 

In September 2013, three Crossroad Arts workers travelled to Japan to meet representatives of Ablearts in Tokyo to share ideas and explore opportunities for Crossroad Arts to commercialise artworks by participants from their disability programs as well as sharing information in creative disaster recovery strategies (Crossroad Arts are part of the National Disaster Recovery network. Their flood recovery art project ‘Watching Waters’ during the 2011 Rockhampton flood illustrated the vital contribution art can make in disaster recovery). While in Japan they travelled to towns outside the Fukushima area where they worked with people with disabilities who were evacuated following the 2011 earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Reactor didaster. They travelled to Nagoya to collaborate with local artists and members of the aged and disability community in a cross-cultural project. Memory art works from Japan were brought over to Moranbah and included in the Beyond Boundaries exhibition .

                                   

SPONSORS

To enable the Beyond Boundaries project to take place, Crossroad Arts have received generous financial support from the following organisations.

Arts Queensland

The Regional Arts Development Fund of Isaac Regional Council

The Regional Arts Development Fund of Mackay Regional Council

The Regional Arts Fund, an Australian Government initiative that supports sustainable cultural development in regional, remote and very remote Australia.

Aurizon Community Giving Fund.

Mac Mining 

Moranbah Worker’s Club

4RFM radio  station