About South West Arts
South West Arts provides strategic direction for sustainable arts and cultural development in the south-west of New South Wales.
We are a partnership between Regional Arts NSW and the local government regions of Balranald, Berrigan, Carrathool, Edward River, Hay and Murray River.
South West Arts has an elected board of volunteers and we employ staff members who coordinate and implement arts and cultural development programs across our region.
The South West Arts volunteer board meets 4 times per year around the local region.
Current members are welcome to nominate for the South West Arts board at any time during the year prior to the AGM in April each year. Please download and complete a member form and board nomination form and submit via email to the South West Arts office. Please note that you need to be an adopted general member before submitting a board nomination.
History of South West Arts
Initiated in 1983 through the joint effort of several local government bodies, the Arts Council of NSW and interested members of the community, the organisation commenced with the establishment of the RADO (Regional Arts Development) position.
In 1997, South West Arts became fully devolved from the Arts Council of NSW and is now regionally self-managed by an elected board.
South West Arts has enhanced the cultural life of communities in the south-west for over 25 years. During this period, South West Arts has consistently received strong local government support, with local government contributions to the program increasing annually.
In response to the small number of cultural institutions in the region, South West Arts has been the catalyst to developing two significant programs, both of which are now fully independent organisations to their own right. In 1989 South West Arts ran a three-month pilot program in youth theatre. This lead to the eventual establishment of the Outback Theatre Program (a mobile youth and community theatre resource servicing western NSW), which now has evolved into a fully independent program – Outback Theatre for Young People. South West Arts also played a role in establishing a music program – South West Music Regional Conservatorium, which is now based in Deniliquin.
Members of South West Arts believe that involvement in the arts assists the social structure of communities, as it is understood to strengthen and unite communities by creating a better environment and quality of life. There are also economic advantages where arts and cultural development creates employment and encourages tourism by promoting and developing the identity of the region.
South West Arts values the important cultural history of the south west region, and works to enhance and create sustainable cultural opportunities for our communities.