The Swimmable! Reading the River workshop held with stakeholders in April 2013 was made possible through Australia Council Creative Partnerships seed funding, which supports the development of arts and non-arts partnerships to enable future projects.
The workshop brought together a wide range of potential partners across science, community, education, industry and the arts, local to the area. These were partners that had expressed interest in being engaged in the design and delivery of community arts and cultural development outcomes in Glenorchy through the Swimmable! project proposed to take place at GASP! over the next three years.
Participants were provided with a workshop Primer detailing the project vision and scope, the profiles of other attendees, the context of the funding opportunity with the Australia Council, a detailed agenda for the workshop, and the key questions to explore. Participants generously gave their time and energy towards the half-day workshop held at the Montrose Bay Yacht Club with views to the Derwent River, the topic of discussion. The workshop began with a context setting presentation by Jodi Newcombe, Director of Carbon Arts and workshop facilitator, which sought to demonstrate through case study examples the possibilities for arts, science and community collaborations to engender environmental stewardship and positive social and economic outcomes. With participants divided into three groups, the remainder of the workshop was spent in two group exercises that revealed a common vision and approach to the project’s design and delivery.
The closing statements of participants highlighted the commitment of all the stakeholder groups to move forward with the project in ways that are both generous and ambitious. The next steps from this engagement were for Carbon Arts and GASP! to solidify the nature of this engagement through further one-to-one consultation and build further partnerships for the project to be manifested. To date 8 national and international artists have been selected for participation in the early stages, with a Laboratory to be held with all interested parties to take the project to the next stage of implementation of temporary and permanent art projects.