Jump start the arts

THE Fremantle Network wants locals artists to join forces to revive the declining music and arts scene.

At this week’s Network forum a small number of artists agreed to join the proposed new group, Community Arts and Musical Organisations.

It’s hoped the organisation will eventually represent a significant number of artists in Fremantle and will provide them with collective power and funds to rejuvenate the local arts and music scene.

CAMO is the brainchild of Ben Bowtell, the musical director of carnival drumming group Wasamba.

• Wasamba musical director Ben Bowtell. Photo supplied

Young performers

He says a database of local performers would help them secure work at festivals, balls and conferences across WA.

A Notre Dame physiotherapy graduate told the forum that CAMO could be used to find much-needed rehearsal space.

Musicians, a burlesque dancer, two photographers, Latin American group Sabot and professional fairy Sandi McArdell were quick to sign-up.

“I think this can bring groups together,” Dancer and circus performer Daisy W says.

She believes CAMO could be a good way to attract young performers who are put off by what she called the old guard “clique”.

“It will help with intimidation with young people coming into the arts group,” Daisy W says.

“It will assist to bridge the generation gap.”

Fly By Night board member Ross McCallum told the forum the Fly’s Victoria Hall home is underutilised and attracting other groups to use the space could keep the wolf from the door.

“We need more people to share,” he said.

J Shed Creative Collective’s Robert Peters also flagged space sharing.

“It’s a great idea. We are looking to host events,” he told the Herald.

Bowtell says CAMO has the backing of members from Bizicircus and WAHonk, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Cr Rachel Pemberton, who is head of the Fremantle Network.


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