Tribute to My Sisters’ Kitchen

What a wonderful time we've had at My Sisters' Kitchen over the years. With our funding from the Department of Social Services wrapping up at the end of February, it is time to reflect on the My Sisters' Kitchen journey and hopes for its future.

Our story began in 2008 when DCA worker and community leader Josie Mesiku wanted to bring women together to establish an 'African Kitchen' mobile catering business. Sadly, Josie passed away soon after. Wanting to honour her passion and carry on her project, Josie's co-workers at DCA applied for Diverse Australia funding. The application was shortlisted and My Sisters' Kitchen (MSK)- a program focussing on sharing recipes, stories, and cultural information - was born. 

Since then the MSK program has fostered a shared sense of belonging and social cohesion for women from across the world, with participants' backgrounds ranging from Burmese, Afghani, Sudanese, Bhutanese, Ethiopian, Iranian, Ugandan, Sri Lankan, Congolese, Filipino and further afield.

My Sisters' Kitchen in name reads as a cooking program, however in practice, the activities that have happened within our 'kitchen' are much broader than cooking. Over the years, our proverbial 'kitchen table' has been a place for important conversations, sharing of skills and coming together as a community. The women have shared their stories through theatre and multimedia, developed their talents in cooking and catering and, recently, have expressed their creativity through sewing, weaving and other textile arts practices.

In 2012 the program's original dream of establishing a social enterprise catering caravan came to fruition through a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation. After a few setbacks, the My Sisters' Kitchen Caravan came to life in 2014 catering at events such at Seabreeze, Bagot Festival, City of Darwin's Launch events and other functions.

This year we would like to see the My Sisters' Kitchen caravan grow as the social enterprise arm of DCA, catering for arts festivals and community events while also supporting DCA's core mission to make and share arts in our region. 

At the end of February the regular Monday night program will come to an end. However, the textile arts activities will re-incarnate as 'Our Common Threads', inviting women of diverse backgrounds to make textile art through sewing, weaving, screen printing, beading, dying, knitting and crocheting. This program will be on a smaller scale than MSK, running on Wednesday mornings beginning in May.

The absence of ongoing funding for MSK has been a great loss. However, the creativity, resilience and passion of the women involved inspires us to keep finding the means to support our programs. A great thank you to all those individuals and community groups who have supported us through the years with generous donations of their time and resources.

If you have an idea how to support these new 'MSK' programs please speak to us on 8945 7347 or email at mail@darwincommunityarts.org.au. Thank you!

Kultour on the Move

Kultour, the national key organisation working with the arts sector in advancing cultural diversity in the Arts in Australia, is moving from Melbourne to Western Sydney. This move forms part of a new national strategic direction responding to sector feedback as Kultour seeks to build continued national representation for the multicultural sector in all facets of cultural practice.  

Our Australian society is constantly changing and developing, our communities increasingly enriched by these changes. Kultour is reading these changes and is determined to overcome obstacles to positive futures for the expression of cultural diversity in the arts. Closer proximity to Canberra and immersion in significant and large communities of multicultural artists and organisations in Australia is critical as we advocate for greater representation of artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across the arts so that the national arts landscape in Australia reflects the society in which we all live.

The move to Sydney brings with it the search for a new Leadership role – Director, Advocacy & Opportunities, Kultour – to carve pathways for culturally and linguistically diverse artists and arts, from cultural policy to cultural and arts practice. This role and further information on recruitment processes will be released shortly. The Melbourne office will continue to operate through March until the Sydney base is established.

The Kultour Board thanks Julie Tipene O’Toole for her contribution to Kultour as Melbourne-based CEO since 2012, particularly to advocacy and the national delivery of the Kultour Gatherings.

Darwin Community Arts is a company member of Kultour, and our Executive Officer, Christian (Bong) Ramilo, is a member of the Board of Directors.

CemeNTstars are back in business

CemeNTstars are a group of young actors with disability currently working on a production to be staged during Disability Awareness Week September, 2015. CemeNTstars' workshops resume on Tuesday 3 February, 2015 from 4:45/5pm - 6:30pm at Chambers Crescent Theatre, Malak Shopping Centre.

If you are an independent young person with disability, over 14yrs and interested in learning acting/performance skills we would love to have you join us for these weekly FREE workshops. We are seeking support actors (over 18yrs) for this project. If you would like to volunteer, let us know!

Darwin Community Arts also offers free weekly drama activity workshops for people with high support needs on Tuesday mornings. For more information please contact DCA 8945 7347 or brenda.logan@darwincommunityarts.org.au

Funding changes to affect MSK and Telecentro

Sadly, funding for our long-term projects My Sisters’ Kitchen (MSK) and Malak Telecentro will not be renewed after February 2015. The programs will run until the end of February in the current format, however then we will have to adjust the programs to address the lack of financial resources. We’ll keep you updated on the situation in the next few weeks. Right now we are searching for alternative sources of fundings. If you have an idea how to support these two programs please speak to us on 8945 7347 or email ao@darwincommunityarts.org.au. Thank you!

Funding boost for 'Reading The Signs'

We are stoked to announce on International Day of People with Disability that our application for funding towards 'Reading The Signs' resources (CemeNTworx project) has been successful. The sum of $7,222 (granted by City of Darwin) will be used to purchase standing & desktop easels, silk screen sets, rollers & squeegees for art workshops plus digital cameras and a movie camcorder for workshops & documentation at Project 21. The project secured its major funding $20,000 earlier this year from NT Government - Arts NT.

'Reading The Signs' will be a collaborative theatre production, dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of communication faced by people living with disability - a playful look at the ambiguities of language, communication and signing. The twelve month performance development will incorporate a series of skills development workshops encompassing dance/movement, visual arts, drama, script-writing/story-telling, film/photography and interactive technologies. 'Reading The Signs' is planned as a mixed ability performance and would be staged during Darwin Disability Awareness Week 2015.

Darwin Community Arts has been running workshops and working on theatre productions with a group of actors with intellectual disability for six years now. If you are a person with disability and interested in learning acting/performance skills please join us. We are also seeking support actors to attend weekly workshops. The program will resume in February 2015. For more information contact our CemeNTworx Creative producer Brenda Logan on 8945 7347 or at brenda.logan@darwincommunityarts.org.au

Volunteer and give back to your community

Would you like to meet new people and give back to your community? We have lots of volunteering opportunities available! Agnes (pictured right) is our newest volunteer. Agnes is a textile artist and professional hobby photographer and she is willing to share her skills and help Darwin Community Arts' programs.

If you enjoy coming to our Community Dinners, this month we'd particularly like to find people for Dinner Crew and Clean Up Crew - it only takes half to one hour of your time. Consider helping serve dinner for an hour between 6.30pm and 7.30pm or helping the Clean Up Crew for half to one hour from 8pm. Even just once or twice a year really helps us keep our dinners happening. For more info on volunteering opportunities, give us a call on 8945 7347 or email at mail@darwincommunityarts.org.au

Asia in Darwin

Asia in Darwin is a DCA project funded by Festivals NT, through Arts NT, that aims to build relations between community-based cultural and artistic practitioners and organisations in order to enhance the basic people-to-people foundation of links between Asia and Darwin. Priority countries for strategic partnerships are Indonesia, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Japan, based on existing links. The Exchanges and Residencies will feature agreed strategic outcomes for all parties and can be integrated with relevant festivals and events in Darwin. 

Darwin Community Arts has been actively pursuing exchange and residential opportunities independently as well as in partnership with other organisations as part of its Strategic Plan for 2014 – 2019. An initial success in this regard is the Wedhus Gembel project (photo attached), with Snuff Puppets and artists from Yogyakarta, participating in Darwin Festival this year, with support from Australia Council.

There are other community-based artists and organisations that DCA and its partners are pursuing exchanges with such as Asian Movement for People's Music (a network of socially-engaged singer-songwriters and musicians in Asia). Jess Santiago and Joseph Purugganan of the Asian Movement for People's Music will be in Darwin from 26 October to 6 November 2014 for the first residency of Asia in Darwin. Contact Bong Ramilo if you wish to meet, jam, and collaborate with the visiting artists.

Malak Online TV

Malak Online TV will feature stories about Malak and nearby neighbourhoods in the Northern Suburbs of Darwin and Northern Territory. It specifically reports on activities of the Malak Community Arts and Media Centre (MCAMC), based at Malak Shopping Centre. 

Community organisations are encouraged to provide their current events video to be included in the fortnightly news update “Around Northern Territory” segment.

We are planning to produce multilingual TV programs to connect all communities around Darwin. This project is by the community for the community to strengthen community bonding.

We are in need of the following volunteers from the community:

1. Production Crew

2. Program host/presenter

3. Talents (Singer, Dancer, Actor etc)

Please send through your Expressions of Interest.

Please use this APPLICATION FORM.

The date for weekly TV program will be announced soon.

If you and your community organisation are interested to represent your community and be a part of online TV program of Darwin Community Arts then contact Silpi Dhungana Pant, Creative Producer, at silpi.dhungana@gmail.com.

DCA collaborates with Carpenteria Disability Services

Carpenteria Disability Services plays a broad role in response to the community's needs and offers services such as early intervention, adult accommodation, respite, adult days service. Darwin Community Arts is proud to collaborate with Carpenteria since 2009, mostly through Arts Access Darwin. Find out more about Carpenteria by reading their latest newsletter here.

Emerging musicians, dancers, art performers: This is your chance

Darwin Community Arts is looking for emerging artists who want to showcase their talent at Community Dinners and perform live in front of audience of 200 people at Chambers Crescent Theatre, Malak Shopping Centre. Community dinners are held in this superb renovated venue on last Monday of every month from 6pm - 8.30pm. Whether you are a performer or a community group, this is a unique opportunity to show your skills to a large appreciative audience. Dancers, singers and musicians are strongly encouraged to contact us on 8945 7347 or at mail@darwincommunityarts.org.au.

Pages

Subscribe to Darwin Community Arts RSS