Many things to share, not much time to write.
On the 1st December, I woke up with butterflies in the stomach. Not common for me, but when I arrived at Lerderderg library I confided in the librarian and creator of Bacch Chat that I was uncommonly nervous. By the time we'd set up my power point and displays and the ten participants had seated themselves, I was over the heeby jeebies, and launched into my sharing with verve. I very quickly realised my story was very inspiring for my audience and confidently encouraged them to try out writing on the spot for another.
I had them work in groups to support each other. Two very dear arty friends were in tears, moved by each other's self-expression, and another woman who refused to read her first piece had a breakthrough and read her second poem to the small group, and left declaring this was the best Bacch Chat she had attended. Like many people with my training I was able to create experience that altered a point of view. She had said, when invited to read her first piece, that "it was a miracle she'd passed English at school at all, she NEVER read out loud, and couldn't write". What she meant was "write fluently", for she definitely penned 4 lines about something she loved.
What was enlivening for me was what opportunities opened up out of the presentation. I was asked how much I'd charge to perform at the Ballan Harvest Festival, would I also launch the arts group's forthcoming exhibition, could I possibly work with school children throughout the Shire, and what about putting up the Murray Map somewhere in the library? This latter idea has turned into my next project; at first I anticipated being funded by the Shire, but then realised that I might not need much money. My first step is to make a budget and then find other sources of funding or patronage.
In the meantime, I've received funding guidelines from the Council, and may submit an application anyway for a winter project (next application round closes Feb 28, 2013, and money available in May).
Another opening for action that came out of that event is that I've been invited to participate in a training night for creating an Artists' Atlas in the Shire this coming Friday. The person leading the session is someone we want to come to Bacch Chat in March to speak about the connections between art practice and health/wellbeing, so this will also be a good opportunity to create that event with her.