Community engagement is a core part of the Mackay Festival’s planning and programming, with events such as the Bobcat Ballet bringing new audiences to the arts. This case study demonstrates some of the learnings from years of community engagement activity.
Some examples of community engagement projects in recent festivals include:
- Bobcat Ballet - a collaboration with bobcat drivers at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 festivals to produce a choreographed dance of bobcat machines and excavators to rock 'n' roll music
- Hiromi Hotel - a festival residency in 2009 which brought artist Hiromi Tango to Mackay to set up an arts space in a CBD shopfront, which became a floor-to-ceiling art work developed by the local community over five days, from 9am to 11pm each day
- Crossroads Arts collaborations - support for and integration of community engagement projects already underway by Crossroads Arts (a local arts organisation) into festival programming, such as The Street of Teapots play about refugees involving recent immigrants in 2010, and a multi-media projects, Synchronicity, featuring the lives of local workers screened on split images on industrial buildings in 2009.