Regional Arts Victoria’s Connecting Places Program offers free professional development opportunities and resources tailored to community presenters throughout Victoria. Connecting Places also has a touring program, where community presenters can book high quality and affordable entertainment to present in their local venues. These two streams of the program work hand-in-hand to strengthen community led programming by enhancing the skills of regional presenters, increasing access to quality performing arts experiences for regional audiences, and supporting artists to tour throughout regional Victoria.
Generally, community presenters are volunteer-run organisations that regularly present theatre, music and other live arts in their local venues. Other not-for-profit arts and community organisations may also be considered as community presenters if they present shows as part of their activities, such as neighbourhood houses, small regional festivals and some local councils that program shows into local halls. Many community presenters are also Organisation Members of Regional Arts Victoria, accessing discounted insurance and other benefits that support their activities.
Our range of professional development offerings aim to be responsive to the needs and interests of community presenters, adapting year to year in response to feedback from the presenters we work with. For more information about current opportunities and resources, read on!
We offer targeted skills development workshops in-person and for free, usually in the second half of the year. Topics, speakers and locations are selected based on feedback from community presenters about what they need and are designed for all experience levels.
For information on our upcoming workshops, sign up to our Community Presenter mailing list.
Each year we support up to five mentees to access up to 12 months of guidance from a mentor that will help them address the challenges of presenting performing arts events in their communities. Mentorships are deliberately flexible and responsive, tailored to the needs of community presenter committees or nominated representatives.
Examples of previous mentorships include strategic planning, marketing and social media skills, venue renovation, governance, developing a programming vision, and more!
Applicants either identify a specific mentor when they apply, or Regional Arts Victoria will match successful applicants with an experienced professional. Mentors receive a stipend in acknowledgement of their time and expertise, so there is no cost to participate.
Community presenters can book free one-on-one consultations with the Connecting Places Coordinator at any time to request advice in response to their ambitions and activities. If you’re new to presenting, or new to Connecting Places, this is a great place to start!
Email Nikki Ralston, Connecting Places Coordinator, at [email protected] to make a time to chat.
We regularly release new resources for community presenters in response to emerging issues. Some resources are publicly available, and others are only accessible to Organisation Members.
Our publicly available resources include:
Community Presenter Manual
COVID-19 Resources for Community Presenters
To ensure that Connecting Places remains relevant to community presenters in regional Victoria we conduct an annual survey, usually in the first half of the year.
We also provide opportunities to community presenters and their representatives, such as sitting on artistic or funding assessment panels, public speaking at in-person or online events, mentoring other halls, and connecting with other organisations and individuals that may be able to support you to achieve your goals.
To have your say and/or nominate yourself for other opportunities, sign up to our Community Presenter ENews to complete the survey when each year when it’s released.
Our Connecting Places team are available over the phone and via email to answer any questions you may have about community presenting or the Connecting Places Program, no strings attached. Reach out and we’ll do our best to help you!