As the arts return to The Northern Rivers so does our sense of self

Art Van Go will deliver local cultural programs between the Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional and the Richmond Valley.

Art Van Go will deliver local cultural programs between the Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional and the Richmond Valley.

Vera by Michelle Dawson - finalist in The Hurford's Art Prize at The Lismore Regional Gallery.

Vera by Michelle Dawson - finalist in The Hurford's Art Prize at The Lismore Regional Gallery.

ACCORDING to American Actor and commentator on the arts, Wendell Pierce, culture plays an important role in how we identify with ourselves.

It is, as the above quote suggests, a reflection of who we are, where we've been and where we hope to be."

The Northern Rivers is lucky enough to be one of the first regions to emerge from the COVID pandemic and, as a result, we have been able to open our venues and support our artists.

This has led to an increase in our morale and a further appreciation of where we live. This edition seeks to boost that morale further by giving a shout out to all those who have missed their local venues, favourite artists, music haunts and festivals.

We've basically turned this edition into a big what's-on because, by and large, we are back. The buzz that characterises a great night out can be felt in our streets and communities.

Kate O'Neill has worked tirelessly this week to give you a run down of most of our cultural establishments in our region. By hook or by crook, things are are opening up and plans are underway.

Soon the films and television shows that have been shot here over the past few months will emerge on our screens. We really are a cultural mecca, not just for Australia, but for the world.

Our cover story shows the diversity of talent in our galleries. The Archibald is on its way up from The NSW gallery and Angus McDonald plays a major role in the exhibition. Karlee MLak is just one of the many talented up and coming artists who are emerging.

The Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize is back and the Lismore Regional Gallery is open. The Northern Rivers Conservatorium is attracting the world's best and The Byron Bay Writers Festival has just announced its first show.

Perhaps the most heartening cultural story of the week however, is that NSW Government's Regional Cultural Fund has provided $46,397 to the Richmond and Clarence Valley for a Art Van Go to provide more mobile outreach programs to isolated rural areas in our community.

Please send in your letters via the northernriversreview.com.au website.