by By Sophie Moeller
A new art initiative to bring life back into the CBD is soon to be announced and is the result of The Arts Recovery Community Hub (ARCH) that rose up out of the March flood.
ARCH became an "activated shop space" and was a partnership between Realartworks.Inc, ARTS Nothern Rivers, Social FuturesAbility Links FNC and Creative Lismore.
The project, which ran from May to July, was for local artists to connect, creatively process, recover and actively contribute to the recovery of the wider community and has since attracted the interest of Professor Virginia Murray from the UN, who is studying creative responses to community disaster.
Professor Murray has come up with a report which will now form the basis of the new initiative in Lismore to be announced later this month.
According to Sunita Bala of Realartworks.Inc, ARCH was based on the philosophy, that once the initial crisis of , the flood subsided, the community would enter the next stage of recovery "looking at ways to reconnect, reflect and share our experiences to make sense of what has happened...There would be a need to articulate stories of loss and express in a way words alone cannot do."
Over a period of 6 weeks 30 creatives collaborated with over 500 participants in the community.
Nearly 700 people visited the space .The space became a creative lab.
"The disaster provided an incentive to take a new approach to capacity building and ARCH became one of the vehicles in which citizens felt able to participate in the creation of a new city identity that celebrated their resilience and efforts," said Ms Bala.
Those involved in ARCH included: Lismore Helping Hands, Headspace, 92.9 River FM, ABC Open, Lismore Art Space, The Healing Voices Choir, Creative Recovery Network, Lismore City Council and R Gordon and Son Property. Agents