Tracey Roberts is often asked to be involved in Community Arts Projects - both in the visual and performing arenas.
Here are a few of the Community events / Fund raising concerts she has been involved with over the years.
Painting the future - Transition Towns Maroondah 2014
This piece is the result a commissioned painting workshop project to produce a 3 panel wall hanging for Transition Towns Maroondah. At the Maroondah Festival in November 2013 we had lots of kids helping to "PAINT THE FUTURE" and we completed the first 2 panels then ran out of time so completed the wall hanging with the bottom panel at the May 2014 Croydon Farmers Market. It's been a wonderful project, I've loved drawing everyone's ideas and the kids have loved painting colourful images of what they would like to see in the future - including solar panels, wind turbines, market gardens, electric cars and a flying dog!
"Transition Towns Maroondah was delighted to team with Tracey Roberts to run a 'painting' workshop at last years Maroondah Festival. Tracey was so great to work with - flexible, responsive, and really tuned into what outcome we were looking for. The result is stunning - three beautiful, colourful panels depicting images of a Sustainable Maroondah, that will soon be turned into a 3 x 3 banner that will be used in public displays. Tracey was great with the children who turned up to participate in the painting workshop - much fun was had by all - a tribute to the gentle and encouraging energy that Tracey brings. I would have no hesitation in recommending Tracey to any other group seeking to produce public art work."
Consultant, Trainer and Facilitator
Transition Towns, Maroondah
Performing with the Nicholas Chamber Orchestra - originally an idea to raise funds for a grand piano for the Burrinja Theatre in Upwey.
What a FABULOUS concert at Burrinja Theatre today with the Nicholas Chamber Orchestra. And Kevin Hocking's arrangements are just delicious. I was really delighted he was able to come along to the concert - he gave me a big hug backstage at the end of the concert and said "I'm really proud of you Trace" - I was a bit blown away really! What a beautiful man...
And thank you again to Eric Klay who asked me to be part of it all - what a treat. Jo Abbott - your piano playing was terrific - so wonderful to work with someone who really knows what they are doing! Lovely to work with that charming young man, Rob Mercer on drums again and the very cool Geoff Earle on sax too...and sharing the dressing room (and makeup ) with Elyane Laussade was gorgeous - another new and delightful friend - and a brilliant pianist! Onya Bette! :) ...and Denise Hewer, you are just a legend.
Quite the dream coming true I have to say, to sing out front of an orchestra - and honestly - this was one of the wish list items - and now of course I want to do it MORE MORE MORE!
Acoustic Brew (2011 - 2014) - a monthly event inviting people to perform with a "backing band" affectionately known as "The Brew Crew".
This event has been going for 4 years now and has seen many members of the community blossom into confident performing artists. The Brew Crew are Michelle Chandler, Tracey Roberts, Christina Green, Stuey Semmens, Stax and the Z-man.
It is essentially a cross between an Open-mic and a Jam session where people are invited to come up and perform 3 songs or up to 15 minutes with the backing band. It gives aspiring musicians an opportunity to hear themselves in the context of a live band and gives them a chance to perform in a safe space in front of a live audience.
We have been lucky to have seen many people develop their skills and evolve into confident artists which has led to bigger and better things for them...it has been a wonderful initiative to be part of and we hope it will continue for many years to come.
The Dandenong Ranges Open Studios Program (2009-2014)
I have been fortunate enough to have been selected for 7 consecutive years a participating artist for the annual Dandenong Ranges Open Studios program. Every year I open up my studio to the general public and explain to them the way I produce my musically-themed artwork through my music-colour synesthesia and give the audience a free house concert on both days.
This year I was asked by Amy Middleton, the Community Cultural and Development Officer at Burrinja, to put together a few sentences about how it is to be an artist for the Open Studios and the impact it has had upon my work.
I have participated in the Open Studios program for several years now and have always enjoyed it immensely for many reasons. It is inspiring to be part of such a diverse range of creatives up here in the hills. The group exhibition is a great opportunity to create new and themed work which is both challenging and rewarding, and it is also fabulous to see how different artists perceive and interpret a theme. The program also allows us to get to know other creatives in the hills with varied experience and often leads to collaborative projects which helps to develop our respective practices on many levels in the process. An artist's lifestyle can be quite solitary and many of us appreciate the opportunity to create new friendships and develop support networks with like-minded people and arts-oriented institutions. The Open weekend itself has always been wonderful and fruitful for me and in all the years of doing this I have never once had a bad experience with a visitor to my home / studio. Everyone learns something new, including me, and people have repeatedly said how much they enjoy the artful experience surrounded by the gorgeous Autumnal colours of the hills resulting in all of us feeling inspired and enriched, having more of a sense of what it is to be an artist and how creatives make the world a more beautiful place.
Tracey Roberts, visual and performing artist
Safe 'n' Sound - DRMC project for music in schools around safety - 2014
A collaboration with DRMC and Carolyn Oates exploring issues around safey through music and a CD recording made with independent artists and school students.
Fund raiser concert for OXFAM - 2013
Well the OXFAM gig was a huge success - great fun had by all, a sold out venue full of happy dancing people who also enjoyed Dave's fabulous new menu AND a great nights entertainment - we raised over $3500 for OXFAM via the EACH FEAT walking team (100kms in 2 days - now THAT'S a feat indeed!) Thanks to all involved for making it such a wonderful night for a worthy cause. Here are some pics... thanks to the fabulous photography of Rusty Bird.
Dave McFarlane trio, AJ, me and the Z-man, Chloe and Silas, Michelle Chandler, The Jam Tarts, Tex Moon duo, the EACH FEAT walking team and STAX.
photos: Russell Bird - Rusty Bird Photography
SELBYFEST - March 2012
SELBYFEST was so much fun. It's always lovely to perform at the Selby community House and be a part of such a wonderfully warm, creative, organic and colourful community festival.
Queensland Flood Benefit fund raising concerts - 2011
Cec Bucello from TRAD and NOW magazine asked me to write an article about the fund raising concerts for Flood Relief - here it is below...with pics (thanks to Lance Fishman).
THE POWER OF MUSIC
Most musicians don’t have a lot of money. But they can certainly help to generate it.
This was clearly demonstrated early this year by three very spontaneously organised concerts, which raised over $10,000 for flood relief, held at a relatively small venue known as Burrinja café in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
Tracey Roberts - March 2011
In late January, we all sat and watched the TV in disbelief at the massive amount of water hitting Queensland, and the destruction which was devastating lives…and it didn’t take very long for people, not just here in Australia but overseas, to realise the magnitude of the disaster unfolding and that those affected were going to need a LOT of help. Europeans started to appreciate it when they were told that the area flooded was equivalent to France and Germany combined.
Singer-songwriter, Michelle Chandler immediately put out a post on facebook asking if any musos in the Dandenong Ranges would like to participate in a fundraising gig to aid the flood victims…there was an immediate response of resounding YESs from a bunch of musicians.
After the Victorian bushfires in 2009, that were so close to home for many of us up here in the Dandenongs, there was a sense of déjà vu – albeit an ironically different kind of disaster – memories of the massive outpouring of compassion shown by people all over the country who donated food, clothing, shelter, goods and services and other forms of practical help. After a while though, outside of emotional support, it became clear that what people really needed most, to get back on their feet, was money.
The next day, completely independently, Andrew (AJ) Jackson from AJ Events and the Ranges Concert Lounge rang me up and said “Trace, I want to organise a fundraiser concert to help these people. You in?”
“Absolutely…and I’m happy to do the publicity too but you need to talk to Michelle Chandler about musos because she’s already onto it and has lots of interest already”…and so began the lightning fast collaboration between artists already wanting to do something to help, a popular venue and a folk club and events organiser with the networks and experience to pull off a series of concerts at really short notice.
Within 24 hours there was a bunch of musicians lined up who didn’t hesitate to offer their time, including Janette Geri, Penelope Swales, Christina Green, Tabasco Tom and Doc White, STAX, Zoltan Almady, Tracey Roberts, Michelle Chandler, Coen Dixon and Dave McFarlane and his band.
“I was really impressed by the musicians’ willingness to jump in without a blink” said AJ, who has also said that he doesn’t see so much of that in certain rock circles…due to the power of egos perhaps?
Cheryl Guenther of Burrinja Café provided the venue and café staff for the next available Friday night, throwing in several restaurant gift vouchers. Dave McFarlane also offered to provide the PA and do the sound, Dawn and Kathie from the folk club arranged to do the door / raffle tickets thing, posters went up, photo shoots with the newspapers were arranged and the publicity machine was well underway. AJ organised the lighting rig and also arranged for a professional auctioneer, Brendan Pearse, from AAA Events (who also donated his time), as well as a formidable number of individuals and companies in the local community who offered goods and services to auction ranging from artwork and jewellery to massage / physio treatments and Harley Davidson rides.
Thanks to the power of social media, the concert was sold out in 2 days before the information had even hit the newspapers and radio stations, so after another frenzy of phone calls, a second concert was announced for the next night which was fortuitously available. Then the floods hit Victoria. And so concert number three was arranged for a few weeks later…this time we also brought in Jenny Biddle, Cyril Moran, Dave Diprose and Tim Hackett, The Dukes of Despair and the fabulous comedic talents of Sue-Ann Post, just for fun!
All three concerts sold out really quickly and provided high energy, busy, buzzing nights with a great variety of musical styles and personalities, raffles of musicians’ CDs and lots of good stuff in the auctions, which actually turned out to be hilarious! We can’t thank enough such a wonderful and compassionate community who supported all three events and were so willing to part with their money for a good cause. Overall, the three nights raised just over $10, 000 - $6,300 of which went to The Queensland Premier’s Relief Fund and the remaining $3,700 to Victorian flood victims via The Red Cross.
Sadly, unexpected natural disasters do happen but human beings are intrinsically good and are genuinely willing to help. These astounding and wonderful nights, full of positive energy, love, fun and music have shown an overwhelming generosity of spirit by all who were involved - not just the artists or event organisers, but the whole community.
Musicians understand the power of music and its many forms. Most musicians don’t have a lot of money, but they can help to generate it. Not just for themselves and their families, but for people who desperately and genuinely need it – another form of the power of music.
Victorian "Black Saturday" CFA Benefit - fund raising concert - 2009
I don't pretend to know how awful it must have been for those who have lost family and friends, pets and animals, property, possessions and businesses after our blackest bushfire day of February 7. What I do know is that the anxiety around these bushfires have really taken their toll on us up here in the hills and in the bushfire-prone areas with mass evacuations and the stress around whether staying to fight is really going to work - everyone is tired and we all just want it to stop so we can get back to some semblance of order or normality. For some of course, life will never be normal again.
This morning, after another predicted fire-danger day and night with gale-force winds (March 4th) I got up early while it was still dark and I went out on my balcony to see stars and still trees and to relish fresh air and the smell of rain at LAST instead of the unnerving smell of smoke. I dare to think that we may possibly begin to move on now and recover - I hope so.
STAX on the didge with me, Riley Jordan, what we were singing for, and a colourful punter at the CFA Bushfire Benefit gigs at Emerald.
photos: Riley Jordan and STAX
There have certainly been bushfire benefit gigs popping up all over the place as musicians realise that there IS something they can do to help those people who are displaced and still raw with shock. These have been wonderful events, moving and thoughtful, emotional and inspiring - raising considerable sums of money to assist those who have lost so much. Thank you to all those who have supported the people who need it most. Truly a time to count one's blessings.
For enquiries about Tracey Roberts and Community Arts projects please contact
tel: (03) 9756 7307
mob: 0418 872 444
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