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South West collaboration for the arts

Western Australian artists and arts organisations are collaborating on programs with the Margaret River HEART to assist locally produced work throughout the state and to mitigate threat to business from potential border closures.

Embracing the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Local is More campaign, the venue has partnered with local arts groups including Cabin Fever Festival, Arts Margaret River and Creative Corner to deliver upcoming events that encourage and support local talent.

The HEART is currently hosting a creative development project for a new Western Australian stageplay supported by Regional Arts WA about the life of H.C. ‘Nugget’ Coombs, co-created by Nugget’s granddaughter Susan Moylan-Coombs and playwright Anthony Coxeter.

Margaret River HEART General Manager Nicky Hansen said the play tells one of Australia’s great national stories and builds toward a nationally tourable theatre work.

“The project ticks a lot of boxes for the Shire and the community. It will employ local talent, engage community, include exhibitions and performance, contribute to the historical record and promote the Margaret River region on the national stage,” she said.

“The project itself is a powerful juxtapositioning of history, love and politics. It also happens to draw on the South-West’s underappreciated relevance in Nugget’s life – a part of his story that is not well known.”

Future programming into 2023 will see the venue work with Arts Margaret River to support the creative development of the large-scale performance work Distributed 15.

This multi-artform project builds capacity in regional communities to create and present contemporary works.

Distributed 15 is a development from Annette Carmichael Projects, and will be created with five communities over 15 threads of activity across southern WA, with a focus on ecological restoration and climate hope.

Each ‘thread’ focuses on a different activity – music, poetry, illustration, augmented reality and dance. There are also threads dedicated to thinking, planting, audience engagement and producer development.

The venue is also collaborating with Busselton, Harvey and Bunbury performing arts centres to support a Bunbury led coalition supporting the development of new creative works in the South West.



The hub’s entrepreneurial multi-genre music program Homegrown@HEART is another local initiative helping the local music scene adapt to the changing COVID-19 environment, supporting both emerging and established musicians.

“Our Homegrown concerts provide professional staging and a setting for WA artists to reconnect with fans,” Ms Hansen said.

“Along with many West Aussies, I’ve loved watching our homegrown musos back on stage doing their thing. This community has such a vibrant music scene and it’s great to see the industry returning to a height of activity.”

July 22, 23 and 24 will see the HEART and Cabin Fever Festival unite for the second Homegrown outing, with professional touring acts Mama Kin and Moon & Honey performing alongside a local line up of folk musicians including Crooked Brook, Al Mac and the Search Engines, Keira Jas, Moody Cows, Uke Nomad, Charis Ensemble, Maya Ixchell and Wade du Boulay.

To secure a Homegrown ticket, please visit or phone the Box Office on 9780 5294, Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.