Ballarat’s national reputation as a centre for arts
Despite Federation University’s Arts Academy being renowned across Australia as a “centre for excellence”, few in Ballarat know about it, laments Director Bryce Ives. “It’s the best kept secret in the town right at our centre,” he says.
Growing up in Wendouree, Ives returned to Ballarat after 15 years working on a range of projects in Australia and around the world. He’s particularly upbeat about Ballarat as an attractive setting for arts.
“It's an affordable place to live. It's got a fascinating history both black history white history. It is complex regional community that has a potential to redefine what a contemporary Australian narrative is. I think there's a lot to be proud of,” Ives says. “We can use all of this to create the most extraordinary creative arts training.”
Ives is passionate about how arts has real benefits for a community.
“[W]hen arts practice thrives, there are economical benefits, there are social benefits, health benefits … the list goes on. But in order for it to thrive there is a transaction. You know: an extraordinary performance; an exhibition that changes your perspective; a piece of music that, you know, gets at you; a book that you can't put down. Whatever it is, this is all arts. I think art is for everyone.”