What makes a place more than “just a place”? A town, more than “just a town”. Sure, most of us choose to live in an area because it is close to work, or close to friends and relatives, or, if you have no choice (which is more likely in these shrinking times) where you can afford to live.
Living – now there is a whole new kettle of ball game fish. I am mixing my metaphors and juxtaposing my brain, going on the journey and creating my narrative, to get my head around why I love Mullumbimby so much. It is the creativity.
Creativity is affordable to most of us who can draw breath, if we have the energy to do so. The energy comes from creativity and the creativity creates the energy. A complete cycle – and this cycle is ever-present in Mullumbimby.
As I type this article, I am preparing for my arty one day course at The Drill Hall Theatre where I will, with other arty types, collect colours and pigments from the earth around Mullumbimby, to then work in a group fashioning up some public art. This will then inform another similar feat, to be taken to Rome, yes, Rome, for more public art. Rome from Home – now there is a juxtaposition. The Drill Hall Theatre is one of my favourite places where so much is on offer, not just theatre, but interactivity on many levels: Hot Shorts (a short play competition open to anyone with a pen and a thought) will be happening soon and already they are calling out for actors and directors – no experience necessary (as they offer FREE acting workshops). “The Drill Hall Theatre is a venue for the promotion of the performing and visual arts…” Yes, it is. I volunteer there, making Devonshire cream teas once a month for their movie arvo, where anyone can join, and see old and revered films for $5 a session. Even has text on the screen for the hearing impaired! All inclusive and something to look forward to, if you cannot or don’t want to be part of a performance, regularly happening at The Drill Hall, where quality plays and performances are ‘de rigeur’.
The Mullum Music Festival inhabits this space in November as part of their “whole of town” music festival ethos. A lot of hand-holding goes on in Mullumbimby, with friends and community coming together with opportunities, festivities and general hugs all round. The Community Gardens where, if you happen to not live anywhere with a garden but still want to get your hands dirty and take home a few ‘vegies', you can involve yourself with the dirt of the town (now that’s clean dirt I’m talkin’ bout) and feel part of the whole (or hole, if you just dug one). And they dig it, man, in Mullum they dig it!
Art in the Pub; Philosophy in the Pub; Storytelling in the Club. Our own Russianesque but not quite, choir, Dustyesky, have lived in Mullumgrad for many years and even the real Russians don’t want to give them back. Keepsky’s forever, they say. Mullumgrad Central, aka the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, where you can often hear the voices of this million-strong (well almost) choir practising their show tunes. Oh yes, it all happens in Mullumbimby. Another venue for the Mullum Music Festival! Civic Hall, Pubs, clubs and cafes all join in.
Sculpture? You like sculpture? It so happens that the Ingenuity 3D Sculpture Festival will be taking you for a walk through the park and along the riverside, also coinciding with The Mullum Music Festival (as their site says, “INGENUITY will be open during the famous Mullum Music Festival”) Calling out for artists, volunteers and the community in general. And what a community it is, in general, with people meeting and greeting in cafes, shops (and so many arty opportunities in this vintage-orientated retro-harvesting and recycling town). PAN Artist group, with their monthly life drawing sessions and artist-collective approach to public exhibitions. All welcome, that’s the catch cry here.
If you are looking for something different and want to visit/participate in something musical, theatrical or arty, you can join in so many free events, cultural and creative, from being an audience or taking up the challenge yourself. Go ahead, I dare you! There are just SO MANY creative happenings going on, in and around “The Biggest Little Town in Australia”.