Dear people, Spring has erupted at the beautiful Bankstown Arts Centre where BYDS are fortunately situated. The big magnoliaFelix has blossomed and demonstrated, once again, how important a part nature plays in helping us humans to be happy.
Firstly, let me honour our very own Tim Bishop, Indigenous Youth Arts worker, who will be moving on to new pastures next week. May lots of love and good vibes follow him and his family as this new chapter unfolds in Tim’s life.
As for BYDS other work, I am excited to report that we will be publishing our nextWestside in October, coordinated and edited by Filip Stempien, funded by WestWords. I have included a photo of Filip and students at Bankstown Public School engaged in an illustration workshop with artist, Stephanie Peters.
So many wonderful artistic and cultural blooms bursting and enveloping us.
People tell me that we are living in very dark times and it is difficult to deny that. But let me shed a little light on some activities that BYDS have been engaged in over the last month that demonstrate what excellent, local artists can achieve with community, articulating a theme of ‘working together’ that will be permeating BYDS’ work for the next year or so.
I was really struck by Hadia Chaudhry’s poem, especially her emphatic last lines; it made me reflect that we are all in this place together, now and only now and we better make it as good as we can.
The winter equinox has passed, the days of fasting for our Muslim brothers and sisters are short, the weather is cold and a Federal election is nigh: all this is happening whilst BYDS projects keep a certain heat and light burning.
How do our political leaders value the Arts in this country? The Greens and Labor have promised to reinstate the funds that Senator George Brandis stripped from the Australia Council last year and to me that is enough to swing a vote one way and not the other. Think carefully before you jot down those numbers, our future is literally in your hands.
I hope that many of you can visit the Bankstown Arts Centre this coming Saturday to help us celebrate NAIDOC Bankstown style. There will be some wonderful Indigenous entertainment and the inimitable Bankstown based Munki Muk and his renegades will be in full swing by 12 midday.
Finally the cold weather is here. I will have to dig my winter wetsuit out again.
We always have a bit of a battle here trying to decide what to have in our newsletter, always lots of competing news – but here is a small selection of a few things we are planning or have already done.
Please stay in touch. Next newsletter I will tell you about our up-coming COMPACT funded, inter-generational Oral History Project: Stories of Strength and Resilience. No hurry, it will be running until 2018.
The days are whipping past just like the trains that pass the Bankstown Arts Centre on their way into the city or heading further west.
Already May is upon us and with that a brace of projects that BYDS’ wonderful artists have grabbed by the horns and run with. I am thrilled to provide you with a snapshot of what we’ve been up to. With May also being the month of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Bankstown is going chocka block full of great stuff.
As we approach April the weather cools…but BYDS’ work continues to heat up. Across local environmental education, domestic violence awareness and understanding, through Aboriginal dance and culture, Hip Hop and spoken word; we continue to create platforms and arenas for beautiful art to be made with a foundation of soul and love. All with local people and fantastic local artists. I hope you enjoy this snapshot of just some of our recent work.
BYDS’ blogger Filip Stempien is now accepting submissions for our next Westside anthology on the theme “My City”.
The opportunity has opened up for people to submit fiction or non-fiction work in any form e.g. poetry, prose, song lyrics, essays etc. We are also keen to receive illustrations, essays, comics, etc. on the theme.
Beginning next week, Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS), alongside with Vyva Entertainment will present a series of hip hop related workshops conducted with rappers and industry professionals. The workshop series will be held at the Bankstown Arts Centre as part of the 4Elements Hip Hop Festival. Areas such as music, dance and street art will be covered.