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Friday, October 14, 2011

Renew Australia

I was at the launch of Renew Australia and it was a really moving, impressive event. The founder, Marcus Westbury, has achieved so much and is so approachable and generous with his time. Marni Jackson and Marcus have been running 'Renew Newcastle' which has delivered 71 creative projects in 42 empty properties around Newcastle. The philosophy and vision that Marcus carries with him is a beautiful thing. Renew Newcastle takes away the red tape, lowers the barrier to entry and embraces risk to galvanize artists and creatives into action. They have created a new type of property usage licence, they have worked incredibly hard to deliver real and lasting change to the social and cultural fabric of Newcastle. Thanks to Anique Vered from the Rocks Pop-up Project and Artist, Lara Torr former project manager of Renew Adelaide I managed to find out about and attend the second Empty Space coordinators forum in Newcastle the day before the Renew Australia launch. The 'This is Not Art' festival was happening at the same time, so it really was a highly creative and vibrant atmosphere. Marni Jackson took us on a tour of the Renew spaces after our conference and it was a really impressive experience for everyone involved. I am so inspired - can't wait to get our Crows Nest project up and running.