WHAT IS BALLARAT EVOLVE?
Ballarat Evolve is a trial program supported by the Ballarat Arts Foundation. This program is investigating the sustainability of linking private businesses with micro-creative enterprises and artists, and permitting access to empty retail spaces throughout the regional city's central business district - focusing on fast tracking the city's evolution.
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR BALLARAT EVOLVE?
Ballarat Evolve was borne out of genuine interest from local traders. Interested groups started to notice the changing profile of the inner city streets, and a private initiative was undertaken. Volunteers logged empty retail environments in a selected area of the CBD, noting those buildings highlighted with a 'For Lease', 'For Sale' and those which were clearly empty. This was matched with attitudinal research of 220 individuals living, using and working in the heart of the city.
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WHY waS THE BALLARAT ARTS FOUNDATION INVOLVED?
The Ballarat Arts Foundation was approached with the concept to support a trial, investigating the feasibility of placing creative arts practitioners and small businesses into identified empty retail environments. Ballarat Arts Foundation, as the city's primary grant-maker to the creative and arts community, agreed to support the project's trial till the end of December 2018. The Ballarat Arts Foundation assessed applicants, coordinated the profiling matching of applicants to suitable locations in conjunction with the landlords and their representative agents.
The trial program successfully completed at the end of 2018, with four artists installed in a shared building on Sturt Street. The trial resulted in the establishment of the incorporated association, Ballarat Evolve Creative Industries Inc. This group has now kickstarted 6 different locations and artist spaces around the city.