Cygnet Arts Council

Cygnet Arts Council

Cygnet Arts Council (CAC) has been supporting and facilitating art in all its forms with the Cygnet community for more than 20 years.  The CAC recognises art as a conduit of community cultural development and collaborates with other groups across the community to broaden the outcomes and involvement in their projects.

Cygnet is a rural community with a high level of social and economic disadvantage and little community infrastructure to support arts based projects and initiatives.  To provide opportunities for the community to tell their own stories to each other and those beyond, the CAC initiated the Cygnet Happiness Project in partnership with KickStart Arts.  The project was trialed with the production of three locally made films telling local stories.

From the trial, there was a passion and excitement across the community to tell more stories and to create a shared understanding of self and the community.  With support from the Tasmanian Community Fund, CAC were able to expand the Cygnet Happiness Project to develop further films, including animation.  They engaged the local primary school with many school students being part of the happiness map (a 3D map paper mache map showing all the areas of interest, some landmarks and homes in the Cygnet area), developing their own films or being part of the development team (music, background, filming, set design).  Other films were developed by a broad range of community members.

All of the films were highlighted at a two community screenings and through a variety of other channels.  Through the project participants have increased their skills in storytelling and a wide range of filmmaking roles.  They have also developed teamwork, communication and creativity skills and improved their self-esteem, self-confidence and ability to speak out about issues that concern them.