Today in a ‘creative Australia’ many local government bodies are becoming heavily involved, leading and supporting those producing outstanding exhibitions and local community performance and visual arts events. Social networks established during such innovative creative community celebrations both power and sustain us all.
There is no doubt either that they also help to boost public imagination, spark inquiry and inspire innovation while contributing to important cultural conversations that will continue long after the event has ended.
Our own notions of, and about community are based on a nostalgic longing for simplicity, belonging and harmony. A geographically defined community comprises a diverse range of ties and interests that vary in strength and that are sometimes held in tension. They have an underlying coherence, which either has to be found, or made.
Stonnington Council in Melbourne is very active in the arts and culture arena. It is constantly informing local residents, of which I am one, about ‘what’s on’ in their own backyard.
They have planned an end of year celebration of living a full life in this very special place, one that continues well into the New Year and across the whole of summer in Melbourne right up to mid winter.
Their latest ‘events calendar’ 2013 and 2014 highlights the coming festive season. Some events are ‘ticketed, many are free so be sure to check out their extensive and impressive program Whats On Stonnington
From pets to fashion, from carols to opera, from musicals to symphony, from arts and crafts to a celebration of youth culture, there is a dizzying array of fantastic events to choose from suitable for all ages.
Carols will be held at 7:30 pm in Como Park 13th December, Central Park on the 14th December and in Prahran Market on Saturday afternoon 21st December, as shoppers gather to stock up for Christmas.
Educationalists around the world agree creative activities help us all to think, invent, express and communicate our ideas, regardless of age or ability.
For Kids from 16th – 22nd December in the mornings at the Library’s in Malvern, Prahran, South Yarra and Malvern East good old Santa and his ‘elf’ will read entertaining Christmas Stories to children aged 0 – 10 before helping them all to make exciting Christmas decorations to take home.
In the same libraries in the afternoons Christmas Divas will perform pop arrangements of everyone’s favourite carols. Who said a library had to be quiet? With such joyous noises abounding they are becoming wonderful places to celebrate all that is good about the past and present.
The Town Hall lights will be turned on at both Malvern and Prahran in special ceremonies, where the fabulous facades of these landmark institutions will be transformed with giant wreaths and fairy lights, as they become Christmas beacons for not only hope but of a rich full future.
Pool parties at the Harold Hot Swim Centre in Glen Iris, at the Prahran Aquatic Centre will compliment the musical line up in the parks and gardens that continues in the New Year that will be welcomed by ‘sassy vocals and foot-stomping rhythms.
On Australia Day Normie Rowe and The Original Playboys will take to the stage. They will be sure to encourage everyone to sing along with their original hit singles including ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’.
One of the big events will be held in the Victoria Gardens in High Street, Prahran. Opera in the Park is a free event presenting highlights from Italian composer Antonio Verdi’s masterpiece Il Trovatore (The Troubadour).
Conductor Rebecca Anne Hicks will lead a cast including Liane Keegan, Linda Thompson, Michael Lapina and Barry Ryan OAM.
This is a picnic, bring your rug and thermos occasion, as singers Blake Bowden, Alinta Chidzey, Mark Dickinson and Alex Rathgeber present a memorable event.
Who was it that said classic music was boring? Contemporarily musicologists, scientists, architects and designers are today actively seeking to integrate sound and music as a design element into professional, community and personal development spaces.
They are recognising it as being essential to the human spirit, the creation of a strong sense of place and an important aspect of community life.
In March Flavours is an event that showcases arts and crafts alongside cuisine from many different cultures and performances of multicultural music and dance.
Fashion has not been forgotten as the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival takes to the catwalk 17th – 23rd March at Malvern Town Hall and Functions on Chapel, where the latest Autumn Winter clothes will be paraded.
Youth Culture will be a highlight of National Youth Week in April with stalls, rides, a basketball tournament and interactive workshops.
Parents will be pleased to know it’s a free, supervised, drug, alcohol and smoke free event.
From 15th to the 25th May in Malvern Town Hall, music lovers from around the country will descend on Melbourne to attend this and other jazz events in other iconic venues in Stonnington.
They can enjoy the whole spectrum of styles the jazz genre encompasses from a cellar to a salon.
It is very important today to connect ideas and initiatives through the arts to = outcomes and help to achieve the art of what is possible.
Stonnington Council in Melbourne certainly seems to be succeeding handsomely.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013
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Ref: Stonnington Council Media Release – Images courtesy Stonnington Council