Victoria, Port Fairy, Symposium: Expanding Artistic Horizons – Developing your arts career

EVENT DATE:  Saturday 21 November 2015

Are you seeking to grow your artistic practice and knowledge? This symposium will give you practical information and tips, delivered by respected and experienced leaders in the arts industry.

You will learn about:

  • The success factors of an artistic career
  • Approaching galleries and other arts spaces
  • Reaching new audiences and developing your practice
  • The use of social media in your practice

This symposium is suitable for artists, arts groups, arts workers and organisations wanting to expand their reach and present themselves as professional artists and leaders in regional Victoria. Come and network with artists and industry experts and have inspiring conversations.

Esther Anatolitis – Director, Regional Arts Victoria
Critical Practice: Reflection, Retreat, Mentorship.
Michelle Hamer – Contemporary artist
Managing your arts career: Positioning yourself for success.

Industry panel:
Building your skills and networks: how to approach and build relationships with public galleries and a discussion about professional practices.
Vaness Gerrans – Director, Warrnambool Art Gallery
Michael Frawley – Manager, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool
Alison Eggleton, Curator, Horsham Regional Art Gallery

Social media session:
Telling your story and advocating for the arts via social media.
Trevor Smith – Cultural Collection Officer, Glenelg Shire
Shelley Husband – crochet designer and maker

Date:  Saturday 21 November 2015
Venue:  Port Fairy Lecture Hall
Address:  67 Sackville Street, Port Fairy
Time:  11.30am – 4.45pm (light lunch included)
Entry:  Free

RSVP to Jo Grant,, ph. 5568 0560

RSVP needed for catering numbers, please provide any dietary requirements


The Port Fairy Lecture Hall was completed in 1884 as a Mechanics Institute, “open for public use” including local and travelling troupes. On the advice of the well- known comedian, Grattan Riggs, and some principals of the leading Melbourne dramatic companies, the area immediately above the  stage was immediately sealed with tongue and groove instead of lath and plaster.

In  February 1885, at the  Mechanics Institute Annual General Meeting,  it was decided to purchase a grand piano  at a cost of 130 pounds, despite a debt of 270 pounds. The following week a grand piano, previously used “once or twice” at the Athaneum Theatre in Melbourne was purchased. The piano arrived via  the ‘Casino’ Steamer and used for the first time on March 6th “at a concert presented by local amateurs”.

In May at a concert held by the Thespian Club, the Hall was lit  with gas for the first time “which gave the whole affair a metropolitan appearance.” By end of 1885, 2000 pounds had been expended and liabilities came to 95 pounds thanks to concerts and a bazaar that had been held to raise funds.

In 1958 the Lecture Hall was  acquired by Port Fairy Borough Council, after the Belfast Temperance and Philharmonic Society had been become defunct before their 99 year lease had expired. Council paid the Mechanics Institute and Free Library Committee 300 ponds for the Hall including the grand piano.

The piano is now housed in the Reardon Theatre. The Hall is still owned by the Moyne Shire and is managed by the Port Fairy Theatre Group.