The Chapel Project forced to reinvent

TCP UpdateOn the surface of it, it could be said there’s not much detail to report publicly on where The Chapel Project is at. Behind the scenes there’s been a lot of discussion, brainstorming and decision-making going on as our creative team faces a new year with empty coffers.

This is a multi-arts project that has to date involved about 100 community members (community choir, general community and high school students) and five professional artists. To date, about $20,000 has been spent on artist fees, workshops, marketing, project coordination (including grant writing), equipment purchases for the development of the artwork and various other expenses. A CASP grant provided $3,000 of funding for composition workshops with Sally Whitwell (plus her travel/accommodation), media sponsorship from Panscott Media provided advertising and editorial about the workshops, Orana Arts and the Western Plains Cultural Centre provided meeting and workshop venues. The remainder has been funded by the lead artist/producer of The Chapel Project – me.

All efforts to raise sponsorship dollars or grant funding last year came to nought despite feedback from those reviewing The Chapel Project applications indicating it is a “significant” project that is “aspirational and far-reaching” with “good quality artists and evident flow on effects”. There are so many things I want to say here but there’s neither time or space, and I’m likely to offend someone.

The lack of funding has meant several things: Sally Whitwell’s ongoing involvement with Harmony Singers hasn’t been able to continue despite all good will and generosity of spirt on her part; the video production team have not been able to secure valuable professional development and project support for the projection and video mapping from illuminart’s Cindi Drennan (a major part of our funding applications); there is currently no money for artist fees, the hire of audio/visual equipment or dollars to pay for the venue hire. The lack of technical support for the project has thrown up additional issues as well, which has taken the project back to the drawing board.

With 15 months behind us, there are nine months left until the work is due to be installed/performed as part of Artlands Dubbo 2016 – time in which we’re hoping to pull a few rabbits out of the hat.

The video production/projection team of Peter Aland, Jack Randell and Dave Lennox, along with Sally Whitwell, have strongly encouraged me to explore new ways to deliver the work. It’s meant some really tough decisions have had to be made along the way. I have confirmed with Artlands Dubbo organisers our intent to still be part of the national event in October.

So while the show is still on the road, albeit with a few flat tyres, pieces of the new-look project (that will in time be re-branded to more accurately reflect the final work) are slowly falling into place and new opportunities are arising as a result. Hopefully in the next couple of months I’ll be able to share more details. Heartfelt thanks to all who have provided support to this point – it would be much too hard without you.

– Kim V. Goldsmith, lead artist/producer


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