Arts Outwest has received a $15,000 grant to fund a new one-day music event that will include performances by Aboriginal musicians, actors and dancers.
The Jimmy Little Gathering will also feature storytelling sessions and workshops covering a range of Aboriginal arts and culture.
The Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders will present the event with support from the Jimmy Little Foundation, Black Theatre and Bathurst Regional Council.
Arts Outwest executive director Tracey Callinan said it was very exciting to hear Arts Outwest had been awarded the grant on behalf of the Wiradyuri Elders Group.
She said the Jimmy Little Gathering would be a performance-based event with storytelling.
It will be held next year and will feature some well-known, respected Aboriginal performers as well as local musicians.
The concept was developed by local elder Kalmadyne Goombridge, who wanted to hold a healing event for the Aboriginal community.
Ms Callinan said it was hoped the event would be held every three years.
Kalmadyne has been working closely with Jimmy Little’s family, the Jimmy Little Foundation, and Susie Ingram from Black Theatre.
“Jimmy Little was a great healer of people and a great spokesperson and activist,” Ms Callinan said.
“Kalmadyne wanted to creative a positive focus so people can come and celebrate their culture.”
The local elder said Jimmy Little was the Aboriginal people’s first singer, songwriter, entertainer and activist.
“What an icon to pay tribute to,” he said.
“He grew up on the Cummeragunja Mission in a time when racism was very strong. To come through that and sing for his people, and his country, was really something,” Kalmadyne said.
“He was our Elvis Presley.”
Kalmadyne asked permission from Jimmy’s daughter Frances to creating a tribute concert for her father.
She said she was so proud that he asked for permission. No-one had done that before.