An Itch to Scratch
Two years ago, I was finishing up a Covid lockdown job in the Bay of Plenty across the Tasman Sea, and wondered where my career might take me next. That’s when I started to feel an itch for the Northern Territory.
I’ve worked in the arts all my adult life—beginning in South Carolina, and then New Zealand, Queensland, Louisiana, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Over 25 years, I have helped build an arts centre in Wellington, founded an artists colony in Key West, directed Cairns Festival, and worked with thousands of creative people around the globe. I was ready for something new—and the tropics, and in particular the Top End, were calling me.
The Northern Territory, then still in pandemic mode, presented more than a few interesting leadership roles—but the one that captivated me was right here in Katherine. Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre seemed like a long and mysterious name for an organisation I had never heard of. But as I researched the leadership vacancy, it seemed pretty clear that the region was special, the facilities were growing, the board was diverse and friendly, and the arts were at the heart of the place. The next chief executive would inherit something special.
And in late 2021, I did just that when Katherine and Godinymayin asked me to join the team. I arrived as the Territory border reopened, between build-up and full on wet season, and have loved every day, every project, every creative partnership since.
The reason begins with all the wonderful people in our town, and extends to the amazing landscapes and natural world around us. My love of place grows even fonder with each event, festival, exhibition, cultural experience, and gathering. We’re a small community, but we fill the days with meaningful experiences…
Start the weekend at Katherine’s Saturday Community Markets, followed by a visit to Top Didj gallery or Mimi Arts. Plunge into the Upper Pools at Edith Falls and continue up the Stuart Highway before 27 August to take in everything that Darwin Festival has to offer.
Become a member of Katherine Regional Arts and get creative every Tuesday evening at their open studio (or an upcoming art workshop). Head to town after work on 25 August for a K-Town Street Art event featuring mural tours, live music, and great food. And book your tickets now for Katherine Town Council’s 26 August Blue Sky Ball—a dry season soiree like no other at the enchanting Katherine Museum grounds.
Don’t forget to visit Godinymayin before the end of August to view two amazing exhibitions—The Mighty Daly from Merrepen Arts and Pandanus from Djilpin Arts. Then our team are closing the facilities for most of September to begin major works on our region’s beautiful new amphitheatre. Watch it rise over the next few months, and keep reading for news of what’s to come. And remember: sometimes when you have an itch, you just got to scratch it!
— Eric Holowacz
Chief Executive Officer