|Above: Nimbin Celebrations in 1982|
Nimbin School of Arts
The Nimbin School of Arts was the first public building in Nimbin and it anchored where the village would grow. The School of Arts, or Town Hall as it is known, was officially opened on 16 September 1904, and while it was largely built to give the community a base for religious services until the first churches were built, the Hall quickly developed as a cultural centre with an orchestra, dramatic productions and many Balls and dances.
Since its opening the School of Arts has served many purposes for the community. It has been used as the Central School, the Presbyterian Church, library and picture theatre; it was the hospital after the First World War during the flu epidemic; dances were held each week and during the Ball season large crowds attended, with buses from LIsmore, Jiggi and the Channon, while the Nimbin bus did a round trip through Stoney Chute, Wadeville, and Blue Knob.
The Progress Association was based there, the dentist, the RSL, the solicitor; the 15th Light Horse trained behind the Hall, and the CMF 41st Battalion held parades in the Hall.
The School of Arts sheltered people during floods and fires, and it has been a centre for countless engagements and wedding receptions, parties and celebrations, public meetings and cultural events.
In recent years the School of Arts has developed an extensive cultural program of major events. As the Nimbin Valley is home to such a large population of visual and performance artists the Autumn Arts and the Spring Arts Exhibitions have both become established as major attractions during the busy school holiday periods.
This year the Hall celebrated the inaugural Indigenous Art & Culture Exhibition with over 4,500 people visiting. The Blue Moon Cabarets and Blue Moon Ball have also developed as sellout performance events featuring top local acts and special guests in evenings of great variety.
The School of Arts is also the venue for a diverse series of feature programs: the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup, the Concert of Dances, the Nimbin Fashion Show and the many and zany events of the annual Mardi Grass.
The Hall is also home to many of the theatre productions of the Nimbin Players.
Culture and the arts remain as big issues in the Nimbin Valley, and the main aim of the School of Arts is
to foster and support the arts in all their wonderful, myriad and diverse forms.
For any further information contact:
Nimbin School of Arts Inc.
47 Cullen Street, Nimbin, NSW 2480
Tel: (02) 6689 1577
Spring Arts Exhibition 2005