Arts alliance aims to reconnect community

Conceived in the depths of lockdown, a new one-off festival aims to reconnect communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

As Melbourne endured its first long lockdowns in 2020, the idea of a new, one-off festival celebrating community and connection in Melbourne’s western suburbs was conceived and developed by Footscray Community Arts and The Substation, working in partnership.

‘We knew that the lockdowns were going to end at some point – though I don’t think in 2020 we quite expected them to go on for as long as they did – but we imagined a moment where we could draw on the collective strengths of the artists and audiences and the arts organisations in Melbourne’s west through a one-off festival,’ says Daniel Santangeli, Artistic Director and co-CEO of Footscray Community Arts (FCA).

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts