PENMANSHIP meets history in a new project spearheaded by Arts North West.
Stuff of Tales is a collaborative project with the New England Writers’ Centre that documents the stories of historic museums and artefacts from across the region.
NEWC president Sophie Masson said the project provided a rare opportunity for regional writers to have their work published.
“It’s very, very exciting for us because it’s a very big project and it really highlights the important of museums and writers in this region, it’s a very big confidence boost for the New England Writers’ Centre,” she said.
“Arts NSW is very focused on directing funds toward paying creative people so it’s very much about paying the authors and the illustrators but also making sure their work is seen in the community through workshops.”
The historic Saumarez Homestead is one of six locations across the Northern Tablelands to be profiled by a local writer.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said that Stuff of Tales was a fantastic opportunity to bring to life the quirky and little-known stories of the area in a number of publications.
“I think this is a wonderful partnership because often in our local regions we’re the most ignorant and blasé about the rich culture and heritage we have here on our doorstep,” he said.
“I think one of the benefits of this project is that it will encourage people outside the area to come and visit and see what we have to offer.
“This region relies very heavily on the tourism sector, we have an economy that’s heavily geared toward the hospitality scene so every single extra visitor that we can grab matters.”
This is the first partnership of its kind and Arts North West director Caroline Downer hopes it will give much needed exposure to the volunteer workers in local museums.
“I think it’s really important, our volunteers are such an important part of our community, particularly when it comes to art and culture,” she said.
“It does also build that idea of really promoting our museums which are so unique and have plenty of interesting and quirky objects in their collections.”
Local artist David Allan will illustrate the iconic locations and artefacts for the book.
Writers will work with interested youth to improve their writing skills as part of the project.
The book will chronicle the Powerstation Museum in Tamworth and History House in Glen Innes amongst four other locations.
Stuff of Tales is expected to be completed in two years.
The finished product will be available as an online book.