The Kiama Exhibition paved the way forward for Willo. Kathryn and her amazing team of local artists, restaurants and businesses showed us the strength of community and how we could potentially take that next step of investing back to support more young people like Will.
The way everyone came together to embrace Will. The way business supported the Exhibition and we hope, the increased understanding that was created towards people living with disabilities, gave us enormous hope.
It was just as much about the legacy as it was the Exhibition.
This connection and vision has continued with artists from the Timbermill Studios in Bulli. Renee and Max loved the idea of sharing our cricket bats with their community and immediately became invested. The Timbermill Studios generously offered to host our Exhibition and artists came from beyond the Bulli area.
We have 2 Archibald finalists, our youngest ever artist at 4 years of age and kids from the local school. We have met strangers who have become friends, old friends that have reconnected with us and artists who are contributing for the 4th time.
I always felt that the combination of art cricket and disability would bring together the most compassionate creative and caring group of people. It has exceeded all expectations.
The Timbermill is a collaborative space for creatives. Its a hub for locals through the week and weekends and hosts events surrounding food, music and creativity and above all, community. Its amazing to be apart of this eclectic mix of people.
The Exhibition is on the 6th October and we will have in excess of 60 artists. We have connected with The Flagstaff Group to build the legacy of this Exhibition and to ensure we have something in place to offer more young people living with disabilities.
Flagstaff currently employs over 350 people, of which 275 have a disability ranging in age. It is a leading Social Enterprise providing a level of sustainability unique in the disability industry and is 85% self funded.
The Willo Industries and Flagstaff initiative will hopefully include shared space at a new Flagstaff building to offer mentoring training and work options, art therapy and social interaction to more young people living with disabilities. Willo will run as an independent organisation funded from the sales of cricket bats at the Timbermill Studios Exhibition.
This is what we have always wanted to achieve and through the generosity of this wonderful community we are realising a long held vision.