Arts federation Paris bound

Noosa Federation of the Arts cannot help but have a song in its heart since successfully wooing some influential UNESCO figures about a proposal for some biosphere cultural cross- fertilisation.

NFA representatives Deb Perry and Meg Lawrence have been invited to Paris in the (southern hemisphere) spring time and they might well be singing “anything you can do I can do better” after showing local bureaucracy a soft shoe shuffle.

Frustrated at the lack of perceived progress by the Noosa Biosphere board in forging any tangible benefits from Noosa’s world-class standing, the two arranged to meet in Brisbane with Paris-based UNSECO biosphere adviser Natarajan Ishwaran.

They also spoke at length with Ken Wiltshire, the former chairman of UNESCO Australian National Commission.

The upshot is they will be flying to France in October, where former Noosa and now Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbot went in September 2007, to UNESCO headquarters to formally pitch their cultural exchange concept.

Mr Abbot was delighted when his biosphere presentation was a winner and so was the NFA, but the excitement of the Noosa art body has been stifled by its inability to officially be part of Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Man and the Biosphere push.

“Every time we tried to contact them it was like running into a brick wall – we were buried in bureaucracy,” Ms Lawrence said.

But the reception with their UNESCO contacts was the reverse.

“They were really excited by this – they were saying they don’t know why it hadn’t been done before,” Ms Lawrence said.

They will spend the next few months refining their template for taking Noosa’s diverse arts scene to an international audience.


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