A creative crowd of more than 200 people converged on the Bunya Mountains to attend the first ever Arts on Top Regional Arts Forum earlier this month. The Western Downs Regional Council initiative kicked off on 13 May and ran until 15 May, celebrating and exploring the role of arts in regional communities across Queensland.

Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development Councillor Kaye Maguire said the forum was a great success which attracted creatives from across Queensland to discuss the important topic of art in regional communities. “We have a rich and diverse community, and this forum was fantastic in the way that it provided us with the opportunity to unite our cultural residents with creatives from right across the state to explore different ideas and perspectives,” Cr Maguire said.

“The forum included a series of presentations, workshops and masterclasses that dove into the various aspects which build strong arts communities, leaving our local artists feeling empowered to get involved in community initiatives and boost their cultural presence within the Western Downs.”

Councillor Kaye Maguire said the event offered great exposure for the Western Downs as a hotspot for creativity and innovation. “This forum was the first of its kind for our region and provided a massive opportunity to showcase our cultural capacity and strong, diverse economy by attracting so many artists to the Western Downs,” said Cr Maguire.

Regional Arts Services Manager for South East Queensland North Katie Edmiston said the forum not only offered engaging presentations that explored relevant topics but provided a rare opportunity for artists across the board to come together and discuss art in all forms. “The presentations were really great, there has been such a diversity of real people sharing their practice and I have loved the different ways they have each talked about their work and engaged people in that,” Ms Edmiston said.

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