Interview :: I.C.E.
December 5th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Mics and beats at the ready, it's the last FBi Music Open Day of the year and we're going West.
Our December Open Day is going down today at I.C.E's Switch Digital Arts Centre in Parramatta from 4pm-6:30pm. Budding bands, MCs, DJs and musicians can head along, drop in your demos, have a chat and get advice with representatives from FBi, MusicNSW, I.C.E & Artfiles, Street University and MTV Fulbright Scholar Akesha Horton.
We stopped by Switch ahead of the big afternoon to have a chat with Jackie Leewai, Communications Officer, Marketing and Communications at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) about hip hop, this afternoon's program and the real cultural hub of Sydney.
FBi: For those who might not know, what does ICE do?
Jackie: At Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) we get amongst the arts, technology and communities in one of Australia’s most dynamic and diverse regions – Greater Western Sydney. For just over 26 years we’ve run a massive list of programs, and few examples out of this year include: East London West Sydney as part of Sydney Festival; Koori Story Exchange working with young Koori Kids in the Cranebrook (Penrith) area; and Get It On The Big Screen, free workshops for emerging cinematographers, editors, set designers, make-up artists and actors across Western Sydney.
These projects are run every year along with our flagship programs the Switch Digital Arts Centre and artfiles, the artist support program and online directory.
To bring it back a little bit – ICE started as a community information service operating out of a van in the ’80s, and then expanded rapidly, engaging our communities with digital media and arts projects.
Just over a year ago we moved into our brand new Switch Digital Arts Centre with the ICE Hub, our co-working space and hub residency program based upstairs. Through these initiatives our reach has continued to grow – as a conduit between Western Sydney and the World.
FBi: With Sydney Festival moving its focus to Parramatta, and the ICE crew being amazing there, is Parramatta becoming the new cultural hub for Sydney?
Jackie: ICE is pretty chuffed to say that Western Sydney has always been the cultural hub, and with more eyes on Western Sydney, Parramatta is getting plenty of the attention with Sydney Festival moving in throughout January 2012.
We’ve grown up in Western Sydney and have been here for over 26 years, and we’re a very proud supporter of the 14 LGA’s that we work with and represent in our projects.
We’re also programming a range of events for Sydney Festival that will involve youth and of course digital media! So watch this space or head to www.ice.org.au for updates.
FBi: What type of creative projects have erupted the past in Switch, where Music Open Day will be?
Jackie: Switch Digital Arts Centre is just a year-and-a-month-old, but this is no baby! Just over the 13 months since Switch has been activated, ICE has hosted an range of workshops, seminars, information sessions, hip-hop music production, DJ scratching workshops, multimedia showcases, exhibitions and screenings working with community, cultural, government, small business, tertiary and non-tertiary organisations from across Western Sydney and abroad.