A PARTNERSHIP between Deakin University and the Lake Bolac Eel Festival has won a state award that recognises outstanding relationships between business, arts and donors.
The partnership between the festival and the university’s Flows and Catchments team of arts practitioners won the Creative Partnerships Australia regional award in Victoria.
The partnership has widened the festival’s horizons and introduced the university to a new creative community.
Deakin’s school of communication and creative arts senior lecturer Dr Jondi Keane said the Flows and Catchments team had been part of the festival for the past two years.
Deakin’s involvement in this year’s festival included dancers migrating through Lake Bolac’s historic and community buildings, a community participation stonewalling project on the banks of Lake Bolac and a record club where people were invited to bring their vinyl records and play them during afternoon tea.
Dr Keane said the dance project was “unlike any performance ever seen in Lake Bolac” while the stonewalling project gave local people an opportunity to imagine themselves as a character in an 1800s dry-stone work team.
Deakin’s involvement with the festival started after Lake Bolac school students took part in workshops with the Flows and Catchments team, part of the university’s centre for memory, imagination and invention.
“We saw an opportunity and approached the festival committee who were very progressive and good to work with,” Dr Keane said, adding that Deakin would talk with the committee about future involvement in the festival.
The Flows and Catchments project involves academic staff members in the faculty of arts and education which include Patrick West, Jondi Keane, Simon Wilmot, Shaun McLeod, Katya Johanson, Daniel Armstrong, Sally Gardner, Karen le Rossignol, Alyson Miller and Dawn Joseph.
Non-Deakin members with independent creative arts or professional practices include Rozalind Drummond and Brad Warren, while PhD student Valerie Jeremijenko was also part of the group.
The creative partnership regional award is one of eight award categories in the Victorian section of the Creative Partnerships Australia awards.
Winners of the awards at state level will represent Victoria in the national awards in Canberra on November 18.
Creative Partnerships Australia was established this year under Creative Australia, the Australian government’s national cultural policy to encourage and facilitate private sector support for the arts.