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Marion Crooke recalls FCAC developments
8 Nov 2014
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Stages in the Redevelopment of Footscray Community Arts Centre

Stage 1 in the redevelopment of Footscray Community Arts Centre’s facilities, refurbishment of the Ryco Warehouse and works to Henderson House supported by the City of Maribyrnong and a Federal job creation scheme, drew a wry challenge from CEO, Phillip Shanahan “Now fill this!”

1997

The Community Support Fund confirmed a contribution of $700,000 towards the Stage 2, the Performance Space.   An official presentation of the big cheque by Premier Jeff Kennett was held at a luncheon in the Basement of Henderson House.

Victoria University hospitality students catered for the esteemed guests.  Chair Alison Richards bought a suitable floral frock from Target and the two of us rehearsed our planned walk with the Premier the day before.  The clutch failed on my old car driving home that night, and the next day’s news was full of the shrill Pauline Hanson. The media descended on Moreland Street to question the Premier who was gloriously trenchant in his condemnation of Hanson’s views.  We took him on a circuit of Henderson House, followed by a media scrum but, when I went to open the door into the Basement, it was locked!  A visiting friend from Sydney was miraculously inside and, seeing the frantic ratchetting of the handle, opened it to a virtual tsunami of people and equipment.  At lunch, the Premier expanded on his desire to repair to a Greek Island in solitude with the goats and, to his delight, a young waiter called him “Mr President.” 

1999

Additional State Government funding, a total of $2.75 million from the Community Support Fund, is confirmed for the construction of Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Theatre (a total of $3.4 million with Centre fundraising). 

Premier Steve Bracks makes the announcement at a star-studded launch in the (heavily disguised for television) Ryco Warehouse.  Stiltwalkers from the Women’s Circus welcomed the Premier, Husny Thalib rapped and the Ethiopian Circus performed vibrant music for invited guests including Roslyn Smorgon, Richard Pratt and FCAC Chair, Margaret Haggart. 

Tags
Community Arts Community Cultural Development Disability Arts Emerging Artists Exhibition
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