Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall met with Moree Plains Art Gallery curator Hannah Williamson this week to deliver news of a $59,000 grant to build new modern bathroom facilities.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
A $59,000 grant will help the Moree Plains Art Gallery update its bathroom facilities but importantly also offer the cultural centre the means to increase its appeal to a wider audience, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall delivered news of the funding to the gallery this week and said it wasn’t often that toilet funding prompted such colourful reactions – but the gallery’s staff, clients and managing foundation committee were in fact, flushed with excitement over the grant.
Mr Marshall said the $59,000 delivered under Arts NSW Regional Capital Funding program would allow for the building of disabled facilities as well as update and renovate the antiquated and old bathrooms at the gallery.
“The gallery operates six days a week and they have a wide and varied program of workshops and activities that are engaging more and more people across the community so this funding really meets a need,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall met with curator Hannah Williamson during his visit who told him the gallery’s program was continually diversifying to new audiences and visitors.
“They are engaging with a lot more people in the community, many of them with disabilities and with a new appreciation for varied cultural activities,” he said.
“The Moree Plains Art Gallery is moving forward with cultural events and it’s more than just a gallery now; it is a true cultural centre offering workshops for adults and children that function as art therapy.
“The gallery has up to 50 clients a week who will get new toilet facilities specific for people with disabilities and that will give them new bathroom areas that help them maintain their dignity.”
“Right here, where it is needed, this regional capital funding is supporting important small-scale infrastructure projects that maintain our resources and facilities and build community participation in our arts and cultural activities.”
Ms Williamson said the grant was exciting and she hoped construction and renovation work would begin early in the New Year.
The latest grant comes as the gallery management committee, Moree Cultural Art Foundation, holds great hopes for additional funding of some $24,000 to help it insulate a roof over the outside workshop area.
Mr Marshall added his weight to the application under the Community Building Partnership program and hopes there will be good news to make their Christmas even more joyful within the next couple of weeks.
“The foundation has applied for the grant to put an insulated steel roof over the gallery verandah and that would allow them to almost double the undercover area for community use and allow them to deliver more vibrant programs,” Mr Marshall said.
“The outdoor workshop is used over 15 times a week for separate groups, many of them tactile workshops where kids can get arty and messy with their creations with their painting and drawing projects.
“But because it’s not covered or protected from the sun or the rain it’s restricted by weather conditions.
“The covered area would let the gallery achieve even greater aims and successes, so I’m hoping the grant application gets up in this round and I’ve certainly been a huge supporter of it.”