Assorted Grains: Planting the seeds of Logan’s growing arts scene

Following the success of Logan’s recent event Art Plus Beer, a celebration of all things arts, music, food and brews, we sat down with one of the organisers to learn more about the passionate arts co-op that’s striving to nurture the community arts scene in the area.

Ali Strachan, an innovator of Logan Arts Co-op, now known as Assorted Grains, is a self-professed art geek and cat lover. When she’s not helping businesses grow their profiles through her impressive copywriting talents, she can be found at the coal face of the local arts – working with organisations and councils to support all kinds of artists across the spectrum of their careers, and putting on a range of creative and unexpected multi-disciplinary events throughout the region.

Dynamo Ali managed to squeeze in a few minutes to chat with us about Assorted Grains, the philosophy behind it, and what’s next for the future. 

What inspired you to start Assorted Grains, and what is the organisation about?

Our Logan arts co-op started with a vision to create dynamic spaces for all types of artists, writers, musicians and performers to create, run workshops and programs, develop their skills and engage with the community.

As a group we represent many different creative disciplines and people from varying backgrounds. Our organisation, now known as Assorted Grains, hopes to be able to represent the many different types of artists and people across the region. Sharing their voices via arts culture.

Who does the Assorted Grains support?

Being community-driven, our focus is on supporting our Logan-based artist and art workers. Visual and public artists, sculptors, dancers, performers, actors, musicians, poets, writers, ceramicists, textile artists, photographers, videographers and more.

While we may engage artists and performers from outside the region, we always do so in a way that benefits Logan creative sector and community.

What sets the Assorted Grains apart from other arts organisations?

Two things. Our distinct, multidisciplinary events, and our flexible approach.

When it comes to cultural tourism, people want more. They’re looking for something interesting, unusual. They want to experience something new.

And we intend to give it to them in the place they’d least expect it! Their local café, restaurant or sports oval. A shopping centre, carpark or bookshop.

That way, they can experience the amazing art creating by local artists right in their own neighbourhood. Imagine walking into your local burger joint and experiencing a combo live art and rad music. Walk outside to see cultural dance, punctuated with powerful spoken word poetry. Plus great food!

With all its limitations, we’ve seen COVID as a blessing. Rather than being tied to a single space (with huge overheads) we’ve decided on a flexible approach. After all, Logan is such a huge region and by being tied to one space, we’re limiting our impact.

Instead, we’re partnering with existing Logan-based businesses, organisations and government to activate the communities with our unique, multidisciplinary events and programs. If you wanna get involved and host an event, let us know!

What was the public response to Arts plus Beer, and what events do you have planned for the future?

The response was amazing! We wanted to create a visually exciting, thought-provoking event that shared a combination of cultural stories, different mediums and focus on providing a unique, and visceral arts experience. Our audience loved it, here’s just some of what they said below.

“I loved the live music, I actually can’t remember the last time I was at a venue with live music! But the spoken poetry was very special. I have never experienced a performance like that before.”

“The best part was the integration of art, poetry, music, and food!”

“I loved the atmosphere, music and overall vibe of the event. The poetry was incredible too.”

“The live music was great, combined with live art, gave everyone something to enjoy.”

“The best part was having the artworks being exhibited and the live arts happening while being able to listen to and watch the live music happening inside the venue.”

We’re still putting together our program for next year, but you can expect it to feature more of the same unique artistic combinations in different ways.

What are the goals you want to achieve with Assorted Grains? 

Our goal is to put Logan on the map as a cultural destination of choice by bringing our city to life. Strengthening our creative economy–so people don’t have to travel to Brisbane or the Gold Coast to experience something exciting.

In turn this will foster community connection, which is so important during this pandemic.

Visit facebook.com/assorted.grains for more.

Interview by Belinda Topan. Story by Belinda Topan and Natalie O’Driscoll.

Be first to comment