Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art.
Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art. Contributed

How Coffs can build an art museum of acclaim

FRIENDS of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery are bringing Leigh Carmichael, the creative mind behind "the 'Mona effect", to Coffs Harbour for their gala dinner on September 7.

As the original creative director at Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art and now creative director of Mona's DarkLab including Dark Mofo, Leigh will reveal the imagination behind Mona that has seen tourism numbers soar for Tasmania.

Opened in 2011, Mona is a world-class example of the benefits of cultural tourism, throwing out the traditional rules of a gallery by taking brave, creative risks. It's worked.

Mona draws in overseas tourists and engages locals many who have never stepped into a gallery or museum before.

Leigh Carmichael of MONA.
Leigh Carmichael of MONA. Contributed

The Friends see the potential for Coffs Harbour and the timing of Leigh's visit couldn't be better with the council recently voting to move forward with the new Cultural and Civic Space in the CBD including a new gallery, library and museum.

Fresh from experiencing Mona's Dark Mofo festival, Friends' President, Heather McKinnon, met with Leigh in Hobart and says his story and down-to-earth approach will appeal to many.

"We can learn so much from Leigh and his incredible success at Mona to help fire our own community," Heather said.

"Our aim is to inspire people to imagine the value creative infrastructure and cultural branding can bring to the region. Whether you are interested in the arts, community, tourism, business or education, the night will be a feast for the mind."

The Coffs Harbour Surf Club Restaurant will undergo a Mona-inspired transformation and the Pablo Blitzer Quintet will set the mood.

A special three-course menu designed by executive chef Matt Donovan will be accompanied by selected fine wines, beer and drinks under the ticket price.

All funds will go toward the purchase of new artworks for the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.

MONA COMES TO COFFS

Surf Club Restaurant & Bar

Friday, September 7, 6.30pm - 10.00pm.

Tickets: $145 Non-Members, $130 Members of Friends; includes dinner & drinks. Bookings and information at www.friendschrg.com.au



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