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  • Writer's pictureShelley Pisani

Growing CQ Creative Businesses

In just over a week the online workshop series for CQ Shopfront gets underway after much COVID 19 replanning. I am excited to be working alongside the amazing Katie Whyte - artist and tutor from Flying Arts Alliance's By Request Program. We managed to co-present one workshop in Bundaberg for 17 artists from the Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and North Burnett regions back in March just days before the pandemic was declared and travel became impossible.

Many of us have experienced Zoom exhaustion in recent weeks. I have had regular meetings and have just come out of a 3-day conference all on Zoom. But how amazing is it that we have these platforms for communication now that are so effective in enabling us to continue our practice whilst in isolation? Katie and I have been investigating various tools to keep everyone engaged and learning through what is now an 8-part online workshop series.

This project is focussed on building business planning skills and encouraging the development of commercially viable products for visual artists and makers in the Central Queensland region. There are over 300 members of the CQ Shopfront Facebook Group who are getting involved in the process.

Following the workshop series and the opening up of travel options again, there will be a series of 7 Artisan in Residence (AIR) programs in the funded target regions of Banana Shire, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Mackay, North Burnett and Rockhampton Regions. The AIRs have been selected with the assistance of Artisan who have helped us find an amazing group of artists who will be offering skill development, mentoring and different projects in each region. I cannot wait to announce who these artists are in coming weeks and share the details of what will be rolling out.

As the regulations around COVID 19 begin to wind back, just remember to continue to take care of yourselves. People will feel very differently about this. Some will want to run out to the shops and meet up with friends whilst others will be more reserved and still feeling some elements of fear. All of these feelings are valid so keep being kind to each other as we all work our way out of this pandemic. The CQ Shopfront project and its partners are monitoring the situation closely. I certainly look forward to being face to face with the amazing artists involved in CQ Shopfront again without a screen as a barrier!

Are you a Central Queensland visual artist or maker looking to build your business and commercially viable product? Book online for the workshop series here.

Thank you so much to the wonderful, supportive project partners of CQ Shopfront during this time of adjustment, particularly those involved in the CQ Shopfront Flying Arts Business for Creative Workshop Series - Flying Arts, CQ RASN and Arts Queensland. It is very much appreciated.

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