Artists Unite To Share The Local COVID Story

Media Release

Creatives from across Golden Plains Shire have come together virtually to create a short digital piece on the local experience of COVID-19 social isolation thanks to a grant from the Australian Government.

Facilitated by Council, the five-minute film titled Zoom Me A River is a creative response to the social isolation and how communities came together virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic in Golden Plains Shire. The project was a multi-media collaboration involving multiple individual artists and groups, including: the Golden Pens Writers Group who created the poetic script; Linton Play Readers Group who gave voice to the script; musicians from Bannockburn, Teesdale, Lethbridge and Napoleons; visual artists from Linton, Smythesdale, Dereel, Bannockburn, Napoleons and members of GP Arts Inc who created the visual artwork for the video.

The final video product was brought together and animated by film maker Leonie Van Eyk from Castlemaine, who worked with each group and artist to develop the content. Leonie, the groups and individual artists worked together and workshopped the project virtually over Zoom.

In September, Council successfully secured a $5,000 grant from the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund Recovery Boost program for the project. The Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund is provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria.

Zoom Me A River is now available to watch on Council’s website at, and will also be screened at the Golden Plains Community Awards 2020 presentation on Australia Day, 2021.

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Cr Helena Kirby congratulated all artists involved in creating the short film.

“The COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year presented many challenges and required community members to find new ways to connect with one another. The Zoom Me A River project has captured this and the year that was for the Golden Plains Shire community in a truly unique way.

“The project brought together not only a mix of visual, instrumental, written and vocal artists, but also individuals and groups from every corner of the Shire; from Linton to Teesdale, Dereel and Napoleons. It is a remarkable piece of work given that it was all developed and put together virtually, which really does capture the 2020 experience. Congratulations to all involved.

 “While facilitated by Council, the project would not have been possible without the funding support from the Federal Government. Thank you to the Government’s Regional Arts Fund for recognising the potential of this unique project and supporting Council bring the Shire’s artistic groups together.”

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