Dubbo Artz Inc has formally announced its decision to enter caretaker mode as of January 2021 and is no longer offering membership.
The decision was made following a lack of community engagement and participation due to COVID-19 and was announced to the public in a final edition of the Dubbo Artz Inc bi-monthly newsletter compiled by secretary and newsletter editor Leonie Ward.
Dubbo Artz Inc president Di Clifford said it was simply just time for a new era.
"The times have changed, it's time," Mrs Clifford said.
"We have mixed emotions, but we are pleased.
"Looking on the group's 20 years, we can well and truly say we are pleased with everything we have achieved," she said.
Mrs Ward said they are not dwelling on the past and are looking forward to starting their own, new chapters, however, they are forever thankful to their committee members.
"The Dubbo Artz committee has been a wonderful team and support group," she said.
Mrs Clifford said teamwork is powerful and energising, especially when it comes to volunteer groups, a statement which she believes Dubbo Arz Inc reflects.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with Dubbo Artz over the past 16-years and rejoice in the supportive networks which active involvement brings," she said,
"My thanks go out to Dubbo Artz committee members, past and present, and to everyone who has support."
The group was initially formed in 1995 as Dubbo Arts and Cultural Advisory Council Inc (DACAC) from an alliance between the existing Dubbo Arts Council and a group of interested people from the Dubbo Art Gallery.
A constitution was adopted with the brief that "DACAC Inc. exists to facilitate the enrichment of the cultural life of the people of Dubbo and surrounding area." With this in mind a list of aims and objectives was drawn up and this includes to advocate on behalf of cultural organizations and individuals, to expand cultural activity in Dubbo, to advise the Dubbo City Council on arts and cultural matters and to represent the cultural organisations in Dubbo.
Following on from these aims and objectives, DACAC moved into a new era with a name change to Dubbo Artz Inc in April of 2003 and continues to promote the activities of Cultural Organisations and Groups, as well as advocating for the Arts and Culture in Dubbo.
An elected committee runs the organization on a volunteer basis and produces a bi-monthly Newsletter which enjoys a broad community circulation
Mrs Ward said Dubbo Artz closing as for the existing committee was "mission complete" .
"The theatre was built, the art gallery had a new, outstanding home and the cultural and arts community is thriving and Dubbo Artz role as a result of these factors, and COVID-19, is effectively redundant," she said.
Mrs Clifford and Mrs Ward have also shared their hopes for a local individual or group to continue on the Dubbo Artz Inc legacy by taking over it, or by starting their own cultural advocacy and service group.
The group website will remain available to the public, and if anyone would like to take it over they are being welcomed to do so.
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