Access Arts News – November 2015 Edition


A message from our Chief Executive, Pat Swell

We are privileged that The Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk will join us at our Christmas showcase Rhythmic Palette on Saturday 28 November. This will be the first time our Lord Mayor will see some of Access Arts’ work. I’m absolutely delighted he has made time for us in his busy diary. I’m very much looking forward to our celebration of your artistic achievements – you never cease to amaze me with your creative excellence. See you there!

What an extraordinary year it’s been so far. In February we started the year celebrating Wonderland Revisited. Then in April our Theatre and Music ensemble pilot began. “I improved my artistic skills”, “I felt comfortable trying new things”, “I did something I didn’t know I was capable of”, you said. In June we welcomed Dance Integrated Australia to Queensland who ran residencies in Moreton Bay and Brisbane – you were so enthusiastic that in August we partnered with InsideOutside Theatre for Dance Fever, an intensive weekend masterclass led by NSW choreographer Lee-Anne Litton. June also saw our Undercover Artist Festival, Queensland’s very first disability arts festival, at which we welcomed members of Back to Back Theatre and drew artists from across the Antipodes to Brisbane.

In September our visual artists excelled at Perception: two exhibitions, one part of Brisbane Festival and a second at KPMG’s prestigious offices in Brisbane’s CBD. The Perception exhibition at KPMG continues until 11 December – an excellent Christmas present-buying opportunity – you can view the artwork by appointment with Access Arts.
Our community visual artists are exhibiting twice at our showcases. Public performances by Access Arts Singers included the Premier’s Australia Day Long Weekender and Access Arts Drummers’ appearance at BEMAC.
Our Indigenous partnerships included work with Brisbane women from the Stolen Generation who created personal calendars for 2016 around stories they wove during a story-telling project, and supporting Blackrobats in Kuranda Far North Queensland to develop circus skills.

Recent successes of individual artists include Emma Le Strange winning our 2015 $10,000 Access Artist Achievement Award, Bill Thomas publishing Poems Written in Annerley, and Indigenous artist Bert Smallwood being approached by St George Bank George Street to purchase one of his artworks.

Residents in aged care in Woodridge have been enjoying theatre-making, we are also working with Scenic Rim Regional Council to develop their accessibility. An action-packed year.

Don’t forget to renew your membership for another exciting year ahead in 2016!


Pat Swell, 

Chief Executive