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Big West Festival

  • Project: Mobile Art Spaces
  • Amount: $30,000
  • Year(s) Funded: 2015

Mobile Art Spaces literally come 'to you' foregoing ticketing, travel and formal cultural expectations

Big West Festival worked with communities in Melbourne’s outer western belt in a program that spanned five local government areas across 84 suburbs covering 1290km2 with over 140 nationalities and 80 languages.  Racial discrimination, language, disadvantage, finance and geography are barriers to social participation. Mobile Art Spaces developed from Big West’s biennial 10-day festival, in response to the demand for more frequent opportunities for intercultural exchange.

“There is a need for strategies to build accessible local hubs that counteract social disconnectedness between neighbours, streets and cultures.” Genevieve Collier, Art Teacher, Truganina South Primary School


  • Mobile Art Spaces comprised four platforms, providing opportunities for skills development, creativity, relationship building and the public presentation of ideas and stories.
    – Mobile Radio – a portable radio station in a caravan;
    – Art Truck – a versatile stage for performance and theatrical design;
    – Flashpoint — a song writing and recording studio on a bus with spontaneous live performance outcomes led by Massive Hip Hop Choir; and
    – Mobile Cinema – a mentoring and skills development program for curation and production of multicultural film festivals.
  • HMSTrust funded a pilot collaboration between Truganina South Primary School, Arndell Park Community Centre and the YMCA in the City of Wyndham on a project for, by and about their community.
  • The project employed emerging CALD and professional artists from Melbourne’s west and presented original artworks that celebrated the collective creativity of the region.
  • Big West Festival leveraged HMSTrust’s grant to secure triennial funding from the Australia Council, Wyndham City Council and The R.E. Ross Trust to roll out the program in Wyndham, Brimbank, Melton South and Braybook.
  • The flexible and replicable model drew on existing community skills and cultural assets.

UPDATE: In 2016, it was announced that Big West Festival was closing. In 2018, Maribyrnong City Council announced that Footscray Community Arts Centre had been awarded the tender to produce Big West Festival’s successor, the Due West Arts Festival, with the next 10 day festival to run in November 2019.