Post #4: Thinking Bigger

With four weeks until the close of Expressions of Interest, there are excellent conversations and big ideas emerging all over the state. In this post, we're looking at some more common ideas for arts projects and encouraging you to think even bigger.

Developing your big ideas

At this stage in the Expression of Interest phase you will very likely be close to a decision about your project and considering the responses asked for in the application documents.

You may be wondering whether your big ideas are the right ones for your town; how they address the needs you have identified; how the town will participate. You are likely asking yourself how innovative they are, and do they really stand out.

You will have undoubtedly had ideas that have stuck, perhaps some that have been dropped or developed from where they started and in your mind are getting closer to directly addressing the selection criteria. Strong applications are those that address all the criteria, making a strong case for your town's transformative experience.

We really hope that you are enjoying this exciting part of the process  many have remarked on how much they are enjoying and valuing their new community conversations.

When talking with towns throughout this phase of the project a number of familiar ideas have been discussed – many of them fine ideas and interestingly imagined. Sculpture trails, community mosaics or murals are regularly discussed as helping develop a town’s identity, that they will make a visible and long lasting contribution.

These kinds of projects will be familiar to many and have often made significant contributions to heritage and cultural identity. However, it is this familiarity that we would like to poke a little bit! Small Town Transformations is challenging towns to imagine and deliver cultural change: to think big about the possibilities of a fund of this size; to allow for a broad ranging experience for the population of your town; to embed new experiences of the power of artistic practice in innovative forms  big ideas that the town in all its diversity will contribute to and develop strong connections with.

The ideas behind these suggestions are good starting points but at this stage, one month away from submission date, we would like you to continue to interrogate whether they really are fulfilling the needs you have identified for your town.

What is the best you can imagine? What’s your BIG idea? As illustrated in the first round of Small Town Transformations there are so many interesting possibilities that we’re hoping that this second round of submissions will be similarly inspired. We can’t wait to hear more from across the state.

Our role at Regional Arts Victoria is to support you – do get in touch with us if you would like to talk further about your applications. Click here to see our team and their contact details.

Inspiration: Taradell Lip Dub

We're talking to a lot of people around Victoria about their big ideas for places: hubs, venues, galleries and refurbishments. The idea of a place transforming your town is valid, but what happens in that place is as important as the place itself and you will be expected to demonstrate how such a space will be used as a catalyst for transformation.

Indeed, a transformative idea does not demand the creation of a place and your resources may be better used on developing skills, building community and gathering assets.

The village of Taradell in Catalonia, Spain came together as a town to film a single-take lip dub to 90s anthem Tubthumping that brought the whole town together. By pooling their talents, vast and humble, the town was able to create a celebration of their community and have a great time together. It is also a remarkable feat of organisation and film-making as the whole video was shot in a single take travelling throughout the town.

In another Spanish example, a K-12 school in Matadepera, Catalonia, came together to film a class-by-class lip dub to Katy Perry's Firework

While your ambition can be bigger when planning your small town transformation, elements like this that will involve the whole town are as much a part of a transformation as the construction of space.