Community projects and arts events are always a HUGE struggle in a small isolated regional town, trust me, I know. I have spent ten years and more in community arts work with many varied attempts of reaching out to the public and invigorating the town with arts. I have had many highs and more than my fair share of lows. So many times I have thrown in the towel, wondered what the point of it all is and then somehow found the energy to do it all again. I guess the most frustrating thing is to get our residents out of their houses to participate. I've heard time and time again the praise for the arts work that is happening in town but yet still most of them have only "heard" that it was a good event, not actually experienced it.
Never did I think that a little makers market would do so much for so many. The market was started by myself and a group of fellow stitch n bitches - looking for a place to sell their wares. I was already involved with the community art centre and so the market made its first appearance in its building two and a half years ago. I now run the market on my own and sometimes even I want to give that away. But I couldn't ever imagine witnessing my baby die, I see what it does for the makers, the community and social arts. I see people come in and amaze at the expertise in our little area - I see makers come out of their shells and socialise - I have seen confidence in the arts and in the region grow. Who would have thought that a little once a month event would lead to all this.
We now have 900 plus likers on our facebook page - we have a growing reputation for quality goods and something like our bazaar cannot be seen unless you drive for 2 hours. Still my only disapointment is the town not coming and supporting us as much as I would like. We had a great day at the market yesterday but yet again, visitor numbers upset me. Its a common problem here and I feel people have no idea what goes into creating this event every month - the cost involved in running a market and the effort put in by everyone to be there every month (even when sick - like I was yesterday - hence the whinge). I am extremely proud of what we do every month and I guess all I want is for people to come and experience it, they don't need to buy, but they do need to show up. Regardless we will be there again next month - pumped up with arts, crafts and fresh produce, happy to be in each others company again - maybe next month more of our residents will join us.
On a personal note: At yesterdays market I set up a Mini make over and photo shoot for Rock the Retro - Here is a couple of the pictures I took - Marilyn Monroe eat your heart out xoxo