Leeton's Festival of Audacious Ideas is going gangbusters

A BRIGHT and bold festival has been keeping residents on their toes. 

The Festival of Audacious Ideas was launched in Leeton last Friday evening at the Roxy Theatre and ever since then each day has been jam-packed with activities and events. 

The launch itself included a special announcement from mayor Paul Maytom who said Leeton Shire Council had been successful in applying for grant funding for the town’s shining jewel. 

The Roxy Theatre will receive close to $170,000 from the Liquor and Gaming NSW arts and culture infrastructure grants program. The money will be used to paint the facade and external Roxy lighting, the replacement of stage curtains, a stage lighting upgrade and more. 

Council’s manager of library, culture and community Penny Davies said since the launch the festival had been in full swing. 

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” she said. 

“The feedback we’ve been getting has been fantastic … people are coming along to the different events and really enjoying themselves, but also learning a new thing or two in the process. 

“We couldn’t be happier considering this is the first time we’ve done something like this and it was all put together reasonably quickly.”

Events held so far have included the May Gibbs exhibition at the library, which will continue until Monday, a “spring wing fling” to promote the upcoming Leeton Chill and Grill event, a presentation from PhD candidate Morgan Burgess on Southern Suffragists and book club with a twist. 

The events are aimed at targeting as many different groups and ages as possible. 

A photographic exhibition showing some familiar faces from Leeton’s Indigenous community has also been popular. 

There’s also still plenty more to come over the weekend, starting with a poetry slam on Friday night at the library from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. 

The other highlight will be a family fun day on Saturday. 

“We’ll have a pop up event from the Farmers Market in Jarrah Mall on Saturday as part of the fun day,” Ms Davies said. “Then in Mountford Park there will be a range of activities for everyone to enjoy. 

“There’s the Little Mozarts music group, a Snugglepot and Cuddlepie corner which flows on from the May Gibbs exhibition, the bubbleologist will be roving around and so much more.”

There will be a “bonus day” as part of the festival, which will be held on Monday at the Henry Lawson Cottage from 10am to 11am. The Echoes of Henry initiative will be a tribute to his time in Leeton. 

“That’s where the idea for the whole festival really came from … we wanted to honour Henry, his body of work that was done while he was in Leeton,” Ms Davies said. 

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