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Regional Arts Forum to boost cultural and economic growth

Creatives from across the Western Downs and beyond are being given a rare chance to hone their skills and boost their exposure thanks to a new Council initiative taking place this May at the Bunya Mountains.

The Arts On Top Regional Arts Forum will draw together artists and industry experts from across Queensland to explore the role of arts in regional communities, and is being delivered in partnership with Arts Queensland, South West Queensland Regional Arts Services Network, and the University of Southern Queensland.

Council Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development Cr Kaye Maguire said the three-day event would allow regional artists to be a part of shaping the future of arts and culture across the Western Downs and Southern Queensland.

“We have a rich and diverse creative community in the region and this forum is about bringing like-minded people together and exploring ways to boost the presence of arts across a variety of mediums,” Cr Maguire said.

“This is a huge coup for the region, with some incredible creatives offering their knowledge and expertise to boost our presence as a destination for arts and culture in Southern Queensland.”

Cr Maguire said Arts On Top would explore topics fundamental to the long-term sustainability of arts in regional communities.

“The forum will be made up of a series of presentations and workshops that explore the various aspects of building a strong arts community including economic and financial support and assistance, adaptiveness to outside factors such as a global pandemic, and exploring new opportunities to get involved in community initiatives,” she said.

“It will also offer various development opportunities, with masterclasses and workshops covering a variety of areas from painting, screen printing and astrophotography through to social media and marketing.”

Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Events and Regional Promotion Cr Kylie Bourne said the forum was a massive opportunity to showcase the region and drive economic development.

“Arts On Top will also give special focus to the sacred heritage of the Bunya Mountains and its traditional owners, with a series of cultural tours and workshops also on offer as part of the program,” Cr Bourne said.

“This event is the first of its kind for our region and is about inspiring local creatives in a beautiful, pristine location.”

To find out more and to book tickets visit

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