Rural Arts & Culture Symposium

Arts&CultureSymposiumPoster2014_smlA special event in Forbes, NSW, on 15 November 2015, to answer the question How can culture strengthen rural + regional communities?

A full day of discussion, ideas sharing and strategic planning about the future of the arts and cultural development in small rural communities, with a special focus on rural festivals, including our Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival centred on Forbes.

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Jemalong Regional Education Centre, Church Street, Forbes
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Saturday 15 November 2014, 9 am – 5 pm


  • To explore the diverse social, environmental, economic, and broader cultural dividends communities enjoy when creative expression is encouraged and locals’ creative needs are recognized and supported
  • To plan collaborative projects for future festivals
  • To illuminate the important contributions creative thinkers in all fields make to regional and rural communities, and ways of attracting them and keeping them in ‘the bush’
  • To explore ‘best practice’ in capacity building, community event management and other arts related skills in small towns
  • To establish the strategic partnerships we’ll need to grow the arts in small inland towns


The Symposium will be co-hosted by Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival Inc., Arts OutWest and Forbes Shire Council, with partner organisations. Arts practitiioners, representatives of all rural and regional cultural organisations and shire councils, and the general public are invited to attend and participate.


$10 full price, $5 concession (Includes lunch and refreshments)

For more information please contact Merrill Findlay or Tracey Callinan at Arts OutWest.


Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Logo FINALWe’d like to grow the Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival into a major cultural event in central and western New South Wales, with Forbes as an inland arts & culture hub.

We acknowledge, however, that a small river shire, with a population of just 10,000 people, is not big enough to sustain a major regional arts festival. But if the festival served the population of the entire Kalari-Lachlan River catchment and of our neighbouring  Macquarie-Bogan river system – a total of some 200,000 people – then surely we Inlanders could collaboratively sustain a fantastic regional arts celebration to fill many of the cultural gaps in our lives and address some of the many cultural policy failures.

Future River Arts Festivals could be month-long cascades of thrilling  cultural experiences from the Kalari-Lachlan River’s headwaters in the Southern Tablelands to the Great Cumbung Swamp near Oxley in the Riverina, where our river ‘disappears’. With a similar cascade along the full length of our neighboring river catchments. Imagine!

Our community Arts & Culture Symposium in Forbes is a first step towards developing the strategic partnerships we would need to make such an all-inclusive vision real.

The enlarged Festival region would include at least 25 Local Government Areas in the Central West, South Eastern, North Western, Murrumbidgee and Murray areas of NSW, with Forbes Shire at the centre.

These LGAs include Mid-Western Regional, City of Lithgow, Bathurst Regional, Oberon, Blayney, Cowra, Cabonne, Orange, Parkes, Weddin, Lachlan and Bland in the Central West. Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley, Boorowa, Young, Harden, Dubbo, Narromine, Bogan, Cobar, Carrathool, Hay, Balrandald and Wentworth Shires. This is a very significant slice of inland NSW! A state-supported and very inclusive regional  River Arts Festival would be of immense benefit to all of us living in these Local Government Areas.

This is a new concept in relatively sparsely populated inland NSW. Let’s talk about it at our community symposium in Forbes after our second River Arts Festival.


Page created 15 February 2013. Last updated 6 October 2014.
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