Making It Matter: The Small Towns Big Picture Project

Craig Christie
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Small Towns Big Picture was a university program with an initial focus of developing social, economic and environmental sustainability indicators for a group of five small towns. An arts program was commissioned as a component of the project in order to engage the communities more effectively. I was the commissioned artist whose undertook the brief of using the arts, in my case music and theatre, to engage these small rural communities in central Victoria with regard to the studies being done by the University. I was specifically concerned community cohesion and social health. My task was to use the arts to engage and educate these communities who were resisting and becoming increasingly uncooperative with the researchers with regard to the studies being done. The resulting program - a musical entitled 'Right Where We Are' which was performed by inhabitants of these small towns for their follow residents was enormously successful in bridging the divide between the academic studies being done and the townsfolk who were in many ways the subject of this study by creating a context in which the study was immediate, relevant and meaningful

Keywords: Practical Music and Theatre Based Project, Community Engagement
Stream: Art in Communities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Craig Christie

Director, No Mates Productions
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

After a ten year career teaching Drama and Literature, Craig Christie formed No Mates Productions as a specialist theatre for schools company specialising in using music and text to introduce a wide variety of subjects and topics across the curriculum. He now produces the most successful theatre for schools shows in Australia with his Children's Book Week programme which is performed to over 120,000 primary school students nationally during the annual book Week Celebrations in August His work in community and youth theatre has an international profile and he has achieved recognition for his work in commerical theatre with musicals such as Crusade and his current production Eurobeat which is about to undertake a national tour in Australia.

Ref: A06P0412