Thank you to all of those volunteers from Orange, Blayney and Cabonne who dedicated their time to interview and be interviewed. Villages of the Heart is the key collaborative project under the Sustainable Collections Project supported by the museums in the region with their deep connections and knowledge of villages past and present. Remembering villages unlocks intimate memories of people and place, and opens new ways of discovering the contemporary landscape and villages of the region.
Stage 1 in 2013, with funding from the Department of Environment, was focused on a contextual history of the villages, together with around 30 oral histories. Stage 2 in 2014-15 builds on this work through a Regional Partnership Grant between Orange Regional Museum and Sydney Living Museums, secured by council’s museum adviser Kirsty Davies, with funding support from Arts NSW. The work with SLM focusses on a key theme in the Villages research – ‘From Pasture to Plate’, about the produce, food and culinary history of region and its villages and people. This will include researching food related collections and traditions, and public programs in partnership with Sydney Living Museums. Subsequent stages will develop new exhibitions in participating museums, education programs and public art initiatives.