A brand new arts centre needs its bastions – and “the Bas”, AKA the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre, has them in droves.
Thanks to the Eurobodalla Shire’s volunteering ethic, the shire’s new arts space has a large crew dedicated to keeping visitors happy.
The shire’s arts development team inducted the first group of 20 volunteers on Monday, 11 February.
Manager of community development Kim Bush said customer service would “be the thing we hang our hat on”.
“That’s what we’ll depend on you for.”
“They received copies of the volunteer handbook, “which was immediately re-christened ‘the bible’”.
Council’s creative arts officer Liz McCrystal said she’d previously volunteered at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
“I ended up as the public programs coordinator, so hopefully I understand what you guys will need to know,” Ms McCrystal told the volunteers.
“We’ll make sure it’s all in ‘the bible’.”
Volunteer Sue Barford is excited for the February 22 opening.
“It’s the exhibition and event space this community has been waiting decades for, and I’m ecstatic it’s opening soon,” she said.
Council’s general manager Catherine Dale thanked the volunteers, saying the Bas had been “years in the planning and in the construction.”
“As someone who supports the arts, I am very excited. It’s going to be a fantastic facility for Moruya and for the whole shire,” she said.
The centre is named for philanthropist Basil Sellers, who supports the Far South Coast’s annual arts prize, to be announced at the opening.
Arts coordinator Indi Carmichael said volunteers mattered.
“Mr Sellers told us last week that by calling it the Bas – not the Eurobodalla Regional Gallery – we’ve freed the space up,” Ms Carmichael said.
“On a Friday evening we might have Jazz at the Bas; enjoy some pizza in a lovely space. We can have music. We can have performances. It’ll be a community hub.”
Ms Carmichael said the centre’s personality was clear.
“If the Bas was a person who would he be? Stylish and elegant, a bit cool and with a great sense of humour,” she said.
“That frees us up to be quirky, cheeky and funny, even a bit naughty at times.”
Volunteer Janette Dadd encouraged others: “The Bas is about art and I love art. Art is the best thing for people to share and be involved in. Go Bas!”
The opening is from 6pm – 8pm. The new building is attached to Moruya Library.