Arts & Culture

The tree-changer who became the Riverina’s new arts leader

Edwina Mason14 February 2021
Dr Tim Kurylowicz.

New executive director of Eastern Riverina Arts Dr Tim Kurylowicz at the recent Woodland Film Festival in Tumbarumba. Photo: Jack of Hearts Studio.

After 12 months as acting executive director of Eastern Riverina Arts, Dr Tim Kurylowicz has been permanently appointed to the role.

The seasoned arts and cultural worker, who made the tree-change to the Riverina with wife Sophie in 2011, takes the reins of the local not-for-profit organisation following Scott Howie’s 10-year stint in the gig.

Since relocating to the area, Dr Kurylowicz has notched up a robust portfolio of arts involvement in the community, including a stints as programs officer at Museum of the Riverina and cultural officer for Wagga Wagga City Council. He also ran as the Labor candidate for Riverina in the 2016 federal election.

Dr Tim Kurylowicz.

Dr Tim Kurylowicz at the launch of the Arbour Festival in Batlow. Photo: Supplied.

He is settling into the big seat at Eastern Riverina Arts with the strong conviction that the region’s artists and creative workers can play an essential role in helping the post-COVID-19 recovery.

“As a region, we need those events and experiences to attract regional tourism, creative activities to reactivate our main streets, and new experiences to help people reconnect after the droughts and bushfires they’ve endured,” said Dr Kurylowicz. “All of these needs can be met by our local creatives.

“Eastern Riverina Arts will keep working to deliver those economic, livability and social benefits across our region.”

There is no better example of that than the recent Arbour Festival.

The 50-day one-off event, held at Pilot Hill Arboretum, near Tumut, was coordinated by Eastern Riverina Arts to mark the first anniversary of the devastating Dunn’s Road bushfire.

“The Arbour Festival just exemplifies the great work an organisation such as Eastern Riverina Arts can do,” said Dr Kurylowicz.

“We’ve seen bushfire affected communities given opportunities to engage in positive and creative experiences during the anniversary of the fires, and bring tourism dollars to local businesses.”

In announcing the appointment, Eastern Riverina Arts chair Anne Lowe said Dr Kurylowicz has steered the organisation through an extremely challenging year.

“Tim has a strong commitment to the arts and cultural sector of our regional communities, and he is extremely well positioned to lead this organisation through a period of recovery and growth,” she said.

Working in partnership with the eight local government areas of Bland, Coolamon, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Lockhart, Junee, Snowy Valleys, Temora and Wagga Wagga, Eastern Riverina Arts is the peak body for arts and cultural development in the Eastern Riverina region, and is part of a network of arts organisations across regional NSW.

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