Giving Artists The Edge

I like to give artists the pleasure of meeting one another. On the way to the surf, I introduce musician Chuck Berry to the members of The Beach Boys. And as he throws his anger towards them for ripping off his guitar riffs, I introduce him to Eva Cassidy. He takes a liking to her as her sweet voice begins to soothe the tense atmosphere. This is up until the boys of Alt J interrupt, and everyone realises they’ve been morphed into one, skewed, eclectic playlist.

You see, that’s the beauty of records, and that’s the beauty of technology. At the touch of your fingers you’re given the chance to bridge the gaps within music – gaps that are otherwise bound apart by time, space and genre. Bridging gaps, is essentially what the Frankston City Council had in mind when devising their plan for The Edge: a digital hub that strives to bring artists together. However, this hub does not focus on musicians alone. Rather, it is a digital outlet for individuals of all art forms – it is an online artistic space, for every creative individual of the “Frankston City and beyond”, to share and communicate their work.

Launched in April 2014, The Edge aims to offer an online one-stop shop for local artists as well as arts related activities, events and opportunities. The idea of creating a digital hub for artists was initially brought about by members of Frankston’s artistic community themselves. “The idea for an online network came from the consultation the Council had with the arts community during the development of the Arts Strategy – it was the arts community that suggested it,” Robin Batt of the Frankston Arts Centre says. “The Edge will provide a great platform for artists to connect with each other, be part of a creative online community, and get their talents known. It will maximize local artists’ exposure, promote rehearsal spaces and cultural experiences in the area, and advertise auditions, grants, collaborations and workshops” she says.

So far, the response since its launch at Cube 37 has been positive. Local singer-songwriter Matt Harrison says forming relationships with other like-minded individuals and sharing work has been an integral part of his craft and “always will be”. “I think socialising with other musicians and figures in the industry is an absolutely mandatory step to becoming professional at what you do. Even if you produce art for recreational purposes, sharing your talent and absorbing what others do around you only allows for your skills, knowledge and craft to evolve”.

In relation to his own musical endeavours, Harrison says the “more people I meet, the more opportunities I’m given for gigs, recording sessions and exposure”. The Edge “has become another great avenue I can use to communicate”, he says. Matt Harrison teaches at Frankston’s Guitar Village and isn’t shy of encouraging his students to create profiles in the new artistic space. “Young musicians need to be open and talkative”, he says. “That is their first step”.

The Edge is free and is aimed at designers, performers, producers, musicians, photographers, sculptors, theatre groups, dance schools, galleries and the like. Its easy steps allow artists to upload their details, links, photos, and videos to showcase their artistic talents. With its five key sections – Artists, Spaces, Cultural Organisations, Events and Opportunities, The Edge is easy to use and to navigate. It also instantly connects with local creative individuals and networks.

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