Rappville Creative Recovery

Rappville Creative Recovery

Arts Northern Rivers will deliver an artist-led placemaking project in 2021 contributing to the creative recovery of Rappville – a Richmond Valley community devastated by bushfires in October 2019. The project outcome will deliver a public engagement event designed to build sustainable cultural tourism in the town, delivering ongoing benefits for the local community and wider creative sector of NSW.

Bringing big visions into a small community, the project will engage Charlotte Haywood and Lyndall Phelps, two renowned multidisciplinary artists who have a strong track record in delivering innovative and community-based work. The two lead artists will work collaboratively with the Rappville community to develop a creative response to the devastation, resilience and future of this tight-knit community.

A series of engagements with Rappville residents will begin later this year. Moving into 2021, the creative development phase will include opportunities for emerging artists in the Northern Rivers to collaborate with the community followed by the public engagement outcome.

“Creative recovery projects are an important part of a healing process and can attract genuine community engagement and participation. We congratulate Arts Northern Rivers on this funding success and look forward to exciting outcomes for Rappville”. Cr Robert Mustow, Mayor, Richmond Valley.

The artist-led project developed by Arts Northern Rivers responds to consultation with the Richmond Valley Council and Rappville Recovery Group, both of whom have embraced the principles of the project with great enthusiasm. “Richmond Valley Council is delighted with this funding outcome and is looking forward to working with Arts Northern Rivers to deliver an important project for this extraordinary community. Council sees great value in exploring recovery efforts through creative projects that aim to rebuild community resilience and pride” – Richmond Valley Council Recovery Manager, Kelly Moroney. The Rappville Recovery Group joins the Richmond Valley Council in their desire to explore strategies and opportunities to assist in the recovery of their devastated village. Barbara Collins, Rappville Advisory Committee Member said “We applaud Arts Northern Rivers’ initiative in proposing this creative recovery project for the Rappville Community. The project is a welcome acknowledgement that the community is not forgotten and we look forward to working with these renowned artists as part of the town’s recovery process”.

Arts Northern Rivers will manage the project, drawing on extensive experience in delivering meaningful placemaking projects including the internationally recognised 2016 project, If These Halls Could Talk, and their experience in managing creative recovery from the 2017 Flood event that devastated the city of Lismore. A powerfully collaborative project, the creative program to be delivered in Rappville will contribute to a pathway for the affected community to re-establish social cohesion.

“Arts Northern Rivers is excited to deliver a creative recovery project that will engage with the Rappville community and aims to encourage cultural tourism in our region” – Arts Northern Rivers Executive Director, Peter Wood

The creative response to the devastating bushfires in late 2019, which is still impacting the Rappville community, has been made possible through Arts Northern Rivers’ success in joining the 39% of regional NSW recipients in the second round of the 2019/20 Create NSW Arts and Cultural Funding Program.


Image: ‘Keith & Trevor’, AAP. Image courtesy of Rappville Recovery Group.