For the third year in a row, South East Arts is bringing back the very successful Grow the Music program to the Far South Coast. This time, as well as workshops and a community concert at the Wallaga Lake Koori Village on 13 October, there will also be a program run with the Eden community and a public community concert at the Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place at Jigamy on 28 October. Grow the Music’s programs provide unique and specialised workshops, mentoring, recording and performance opportunities, structured around the needs and interests of the community. Participants can go from not knowing anything about music at all to performing in one of the community concerts in front of their families, friends and the wider community within a few weeks. Grow the Music’s tangible always produce a positive health and well-being outcome for the participants and community. The team consults with community leaders and organisations to identify the needs and desired outcomes for the whole community involved. The success of the program relies on building sustained and genuine relationships with key family groups, kids and elders. “We understand the importance of building on successful programs like Grow the Music in local Aboriginal communities, and not just leaving a void after new skills have been learnt with few avenues for further opportunities,” says South East Arts General Manager, Andrew Gray. “Grow the Music is a wonderful program. We have seen some amazing results from the last two years including participants going on to sound production at a tertiary education level, pursuing professional music careers and young kids really getting into art, music and filmmaking. On a broader level, the opportunity for sharing culture and wider community engagement is no better represented than by the community concerts at the end of each program,” said Mr Gray. One fantastic outcome of the Grow the Music residencies at Wallaga Lake is the employment of Warren Foster Jnr as a facilitator on recent Grow the Music programs in Mutitjulu, Docker River and Eden in October. Both upcoming concerts will feature impressive performers from past events as well some very exciting new talent and special guest, Robbie Bundle. The community concerts are the culmination of weeks of hard work by both the performers and the Grow the Music directors, music teachers Lizzy Rutten and Emily White, and Jazz Williams from South East Arts. The concerts are also part of a longer term initiative building towards the Giiyong Festival at Jigamy in September 2018. Other programs planned for next year include Desert Pea Media working with Aboriginal students from Bega and Eden High Schools, and puppet theatre company Erth Physical and Visual Theatre working with students from Bega Public School. The Grow the Music project is supported by the Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund through Create NSW. More on information on the concerts and the Grow the Music Program is on the South East Arts website www.southeastarts.org.au or phone 64920711.