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Golden Mile Art continues on rejuvenation plan path

Golden Mile Art last week had its annual general meeting to discuss the accomplishments of the past year, the group’s financial position and to welcome new members on to the committee.

Linda Belton will continue as chair for her second year while Kelly Arcaro was appointed to the vice-chair position, vacating her role as secretary.

Donna Malec stepped into the secretary role and Christine Johnston was appointed as the new treasurer.

Ordinary committee members include Marta Perona, Chuck Thomas, Ken Sharpe, Amy Astill and Mel Taylor.

The art group moves into the third and final year of its rejuvenation plan which Ms Belton said would drive the organisation “into a strong and sustainable future”.

The organisation had successfully moved further into the online space with a new website, e-newsletter, larger social media presence and an online payment system.

“We have grown our online reach across Facebook, Instagram and e-news with a combined 1700 followers on social media and a reach of 40,000 viewers — a 50 percent increase from last year,” she said.

The organisation reported a 100 per cent membership growth to 165 members.

Now past treasurer Mel Taylor reported the organisation’s members had logged 1900 hours of volunteer service which equated to about $50,000 of work.

“During 2021 and 2022, GMA have made a number of changes financially,” she said.

“We shifted from a spreadsheet-based record keeping system to the cloud-based online accounting system Xero with the help of Business Precision who donated their time and expertise.

“A number of grants from the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, AngloGold Ashanti, the Australian Museums and Galleries Association, MLG Oz and Regional Development Australia Goldfields Esperance enabled us to deliver programs and other initiatives.”

The group has also invested in new equipment for the Art House including easels, tools and a reproduction printer.

More than 30 workshops took place in the past year including for children, skill sharing, social arts, and professional development across a wide array of mediums from paint, photography and literature to business skills.

With the help of an election commitment from Ali Kent MLA and the GEDC small grants program, the group was able to install a new patio and exterior power and lighting at the Art House to hold larger functions and workshops.

The MLG Oz community engagement program enabled the group to move the 2022 community art prize online and hire a trainee to work on the administration of the online voting.

Support from RDAGE facilitated the group’s personal development intensive retreat for professional artists, and workshops were run in local schools.

“We have created very strong foundations to build on in the coming year, with plans to bring more empowering workshops and exhibition opportunities while also growing the . . . reputation of our organisation and artists hand-in-hand,” Ms Belton said.

“Our strategic plan for the next year includes engaging more experienced contractors, implementing fundraising and marketing programs for our group of artists, and utilising the Art House as an empowering hub for skills building and equipment access, enabling our artists to thrive.

“We are all excited to continue driving new opportunities for our creative community. Watch this space, we have so much more to come!”

The Art House is open on Tuesdays from 10am-noon and 7-9pm each week for member use.

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