Recipe right for Butter Factory's continued success


CFG volunteers – (L-R) John Manning, Alan Pirie, Saren Dobkins, Zoe Martin, Michael Civarella (at the back), Richard Dock, Alicia Sharples, Amanda Bennetts, Beatrice Prost, Jim Barclay.

Butter Factory Arts Centre (BFAC) volunteers such as Beatrice Prost, who is part of the team that installs new exhibitions, invest around 3000 hours into the Cooroy facility each year.

Council's Libraries and Galleries Manager Tracey King says their contribution has been a major part of the Cooroy Future Group's (CFG) successful management of the centre.

"Council is pleased to renew CFG's management for another three years and we look forward to seeing the not-for-profit group and its volunteers build on their success," she said.

CFG has brought a host of niche national events to Cooroy, including the Australian Pottery Throwdown, where world-class potters compete for prizes.

"That event drew a crowd of more than 1000 people," Ms King said.

"CFG has developed a healthy exhibition program - the Gallery is booked out a year in advance, and it's been that way since 2017."

In the six months to June 2019, 107 artists exhibited 15 exhibitions at BFAC, drawing 9188 visitors. There were more than 100 workshops or venue hire activities, attended by more than 600 people.

The centre welcomed more than 15,000 visitors in 2018.

"They've put BFAC on the map, which is a great outcome for the community, but it's also great for ratepayers as the subsidy Council provides CFG to support their work is far less than what it would cost Council to run and manage the facility," Ms King said.

"CFG generates income from its artisan shop and other fundraising activities. This management model has delivered the greatest benefits to the community while reducing the financial and operational burden on Council."

CFG took over management in 2015, initially for a one-year trial, which proved a success and so Council extended the tenure to three years.

CFG President Carol Watkins this week welcomed Council's decision to give the group another three years.

"Without the support of our amazing staff and fantastic team of volunteers, we wouldn't have experienced this amazing outcome," she said.

For volunteers like Beatrice, contributing time and skills to the running of BFAC brings its own rewards.

"It is a pleasure to be part of the volunteering team responsible for the hanging of new shows," she said.

"The thrill of being exposed to such a variety and flow of new art and new artists is so rewarding.  No surprise there that the Butter Factory's reputation travels far and the waiting list is long."

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