Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

May 10th 2010
Island muso plans a Magnetic Youth Arts Project

Matt Whitton in action at MI Musos Club Anybody who has been to recent Musos Club nights on Magnetic Island will have seen and heard guitarist and singer, Matt Whitton who has brought a very experienced and professional sound and style to the gigs along with a talent for including others onstage in great-sounding, impromptu, jamming. Now, with the help of a number of other creative Islanders, Matt is planning the Magnetic Youth Arts Project, an Xstrata Community Partnership Program initiative with Lifeline Community Care North Queensland aimed at 13 to 16 year olds that is designed to help them learn and expand their artistic and creative interests then put those ideas into action with the medium of their choice. Registration for the project is this Sunday.

Matt told Magnetic Times, "I see a big pool of very talented young adults here with so much to give and unfortunately, due to it's isolation, they miss out on many of the exciting projects made available on the mainland.

'I have the honour and privilege to change that by doing this project here and I am very excited about it."

One might also consider Magnetic Island to be privileged to have Matt and his collaborators at hand.

Matt has a solid background in the music industry having played in bands fom the early 1990s around Perth and taking out the West Australian title in the Australia-wide Marshall guitar Solo Competition in 1992.

The program is being offered on Magnetic Island for eight weeks from June - August 2010 and is free of charge. All resources and equipment will be provided.

Some of the medium options include CD, DVD, live performance, collective creations, calendar, sculpture, and painting.

This program is being offered on Magnetic Island for eight weeks from June - August 2010 and is free of charge. All resources and equipment will be provided.

Matt, who lived in Germany, has also worked for instrument-makers, Ibanez and managed a live music night-club. He is also an experienced session musician as well as live performer.

Over the last decade Matt developed a music workshop in Germany showing the art of making instruments, writing music, recording and filming for which he completed a DVD of the whole process.

As for the Magnetic Youth Arts Project, Matt says, "I would like to get both a band and some solo artists who wish to get in the studio, learn to record and write stuff to incorporate with the other groups at the end of the program. A CD will also be produced from the final outcome!

The project will however also incorporate the creative skills of a diverse group of locals who will add their own creative skills and play a strong mentoring role in the project. They include: Island visual artist, Vonnie Van Bemmel who will be putting a concept together with the participants to create works to be showcased on the final evening in conjunction with the other projects and where parents, sponsors and the wider public can come and enjoy the results.

Dancer and fire-twirler Dominique Abraham is also on board for the project. She will put together a choreographed dance movement piece as well as costume design and construction also to be performed at a final production.

Dr Rick Braley is another and he is keen to run an marine life awareness project to complete a calender and photo-based info booklet as well as the building of an aquaponics project in which fresh water fish are grown to provide nutrients which are piped to beds which grow vegetables in a process which is similar to hydroponics.

"The final product will be the combined efforts showcased on one evening as well as a documentary video DVD which will be constructed during the eight weeks of workshops," said Matt.

"Each activity will be 2-3hrs on one day per week and all materials needed will be supplied and only the facilitation will be at hand. The participants will be the driver of the project."

Activities included but not limited to are: Song writing, recording, choreographed movement/dance, visual arts such as painting/drawing and an eco-environmental and marine life awareness project.

Matt moved to Townsville in 2009 where he did a couple of these workshops with Lifeline Disabilities and had very positive results. Matt has since produced live interactive shows for Cootharinga Disabilities services.

Lifeline Team Leader, Valarie Doyle, said local artists and youth workers provide a creative and supported environment so that young people are able to explore their creativity with mentors in this innovative project.

"The intention of this project is to build confidence and creativity within young people, both individually and in a group environment by promoting the act of exploring one's own potential to its fullest and not being afraid to 'Make it happen!'," Ms Doyle said.

Matt moved to Magnetic Island late last year and doesn't want to leave. He was nominated for an award at the Townsville Arts Awards early this year but says, "I am confident the youth on Magnetic will take that award next year."

Registration for the project is required and an open day is being held at 1 Clarke St, Nelly Bay on Sunday 16 May at 2pm.

Matt said, finally, "Bring only your ideas and motivation and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!"

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Island muso plans a Magnetic Youth Arts Project
May 12th 2010
In this worried unstable world its lovely to hear of a concept brought together by sponsers and a person with the profesionalism and talent who is interested enough to put their time and effort in to helping the youth and giving the community something to be proud of.
Well done Matt and we look forward very much to seeing the finished productions and joy on the faces of all that are involved and the onlookers.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
suemac In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
Well done everyone! Once again our fabulous community had a great day out and raised funds for a deserving cause - pat on back to all.
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