The seaside town of Kiama has come alive in spring with a series of cultural events including art exhibitions, music festivals, farmers markets and fundraisers.

The school holidays has seen the town welcome an influx of tourists with plenty of family friendly events.

Kiama has hosted the Shellharbour Arts Society’s art exhibition, the Shine Car Show and the Australian Body Surfing Classic.

Kiama Mayor Neil Reilly said that council is always seeking to uplift local talent.

“We do a fair bit to positively encourage and reinforce the arts in our area,” Mr Reilly said.

“We have a cultural grant program designed to fund arts-based projects, it’s not a great deal of money but its just enough to start.

“Kiama has always been a place of gathering of people of disparate backgrounds and that’s still the case today.”

The Kiama Municipal council provides $20,000 each financial year for arts based projects in the Kiama local government area to support local artists and creatives through Cultural Grants. Applicants can submit applications for up to $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000.

Mr Reilly said that council is in the processes of upgrading and improving the Cultural Committee system.

“We have a number of areas that we cover, all of the accepted traditional arts such as painting, writing, music, but we are also looking for people who are outside the ballpark with their creative expression.” Mr Reilly said.

“What’s important is to recognise our history of success culturally.”

Through council, artists and musicians can choose from multiple venues to hire for exhibitions, rehearsals, performances and workshops.

Programs Manager at the volunteer run Kiama Community Radio Station Gabriella Cabral said that  Kiama’s proximity to Sydney, as well as being on the metropolitan train line, makes Kiama accessible to creative people.

“Through the work with radio, we have done a lot of research because we reach out to creative people in general and we see ourselves as a platform for creative people to reach their audiences.” Ms Cabral said.

“We do try incredibly hard to promote local music and we always broadcast what’s on, local workshops , exhibitions, anything that the creative people are doing.”

Kiama hosted a ‘festival season’ over spring and will continue to host cultural, food and music festivals for all ages throughout the year such as the Kiamasala Indian Cultural festival in October.

Community and culture go hand in hand with small businesses doing all they can to support the arts and raise money for research in the region. The Bombo Clothing Co has linked up with the Gerringong Children’s Medical Research Institute for a fundraising event. The fashion parade raised about $5000 for the CMRI, to be used for research into childhood diseases. Owner Sarah Atkinson, in partnership with her mother Marilyn, styled the outfits, while the Gerringong CMRI team baked the cupcakes.


Feature Image : Destination Kiama