Arts Council of The Dorrigo, Inc.

With members across the Dorrigo Plateau, the Arts Council of The Dorrigo presents a diverse range of events and exhibitions to the community including Dorrigo Show Fine Art Exhibition, the Creative Mountain Arts Exhibition, and a range of exhibitions at Gallery 2453 (59 Hickory Street, Dorrigo).

Annual Membership of The Arts Council of the Dorrigo Inc. is only $10!  Download a membership form  from our website HERE.

Dorrigo Visual Arts Group

At the invitation of the Dorrigo Show Society, the Dorrigo Visual Arts Group (currently a subcommittee of the Arts Council of The Dorrigo) has for many years promoted and organized the Fine Arts Section at the annual Agricultural Show in November. The exhibition is an integral part of the Pavilion display, presenting around 100 exhibits annually with prize money of $2,000 sponsored by Bellingen Shire Council, the Cork Trust, and the Dorrigo Visual Arts Group.

Members meet the second Saturday of alternate months, e.g. March, May, July, September, November, for activities. New members are always welcome. Membership is open to artists or anyone interested in the Visual Arts. Please contact Louise Stanton on 02 6657 2328 for more information.


Creative Mountain Arts Exhibition

This annual exhibition is a showcase for the artistic talent on the Dorrigo Plateau. For more information, please see the Arts Council’s website HERE.


Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival

Held annually each October at the Dorrigo Showgrounds, the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival is a stunningly good boutique music festival, lauded internationally. Find out more at our Website


Dorrigo Dramatic Club

Hickory Street, Dorrigo
Name: Dina Luciani, President
email contact


Dorrigo Woodcrafters

Phone: 6657 2707

The exhibition will feature: Carving, Turning, Small Furniture, Scrollsawing Projects, Toys, Clocks……. and more.! Demonstrations – weather permitting.


Dorrigo Writers’ Group

The Dorrigo Writers’ Group meets in a local café and takes place once a fortnight for around four hours. We workshop our writings, offer feedback and challenge each other on a regular basis. Critique is constructive; we cultivate strong opinions; our debates can get loud – mostly its laughter. We don’t impose word limits, which means longer pieces can be read in full. This creates a ‘big picture’ impression of a piece and what the writer is aiming for. The critique tends to focus on character and character development, plot dynamics, the flow of language, voice, etc., rather than getting bogged down in details the writer will pick up in the next redraft anyway.

Not everyone reads at each Writers Table; we “carry” each other through word-droughts – we all know what its like – but everyone there is present as a writer, so our expectation is: everyone writes. Sometimes we do writing exercises – usually impromptu and a little crazy, like giving out the first line of a story: Peter Fallsworthy Smyth owned a red Ferrari; it never left the garage … Our writings and styles are diverse: travel writing, memoir, crime, ghost stories, magical realism, historical fiction, experimental writing, children’s stories and nature observations, to name some.

Other regular events are our Annual Writers Readings and the publication of our Journal. The Journal appears three times a year. We print between 60 and 80 copies, which sell locally. We recently focused a Journal on creative people who had moved to Dorrigo; people’s stories are fascinating and can be deeply moving and inspiring. The Readings are public and part of our local cultural calendar. Regular publishing creates healthy commitments and builds skills in editing, simple publishing processes, and a strong connection to local community. Regular readings also create a healthy timeline and provide writers with opportunities to read their work to a live audience. This is a very different experience to publishing on paper.

The Dorrigo Writers Group has no formal structure. We do not have a treasurer. Our cashbox lives under someone’s bed or is stored in someone’s wardrobe. We don’t have a secretary or chairperson. We carry responsibility for our group together and if something needs to be done someone will always volunteer. There is occasional arm-twisting. Our working together is based on trust. The personal stories we have shared with one another include narratives of childhood sexual abuse, the death of children, the murder of a close friend and rape. The group has had to develop a good immune system over time.

If someone new asks to become part of the group, we invite them to a Writers Table and to share some of their work and give feedback on anything that is read. If everyone in the group is okay with this writer as a new member they are invited back. We welcome guest writers and offer guest writers a place in our Journal We hold workshops at least once a year, which are open to the public. I have a PhD in creative writing and I cover gothic writing and magical realism, Ian Irvine has held a workshop on fantasy fiction, Elizabeth Reapy introduced us to short story writing before she returned to Ireland and Marele Day, who has brought her workshops to Dorrigo several times, has introduced crime writing, creative writing in general, and a Master Class on moving from rough idea to final draft.

In 2013, as part of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, we hosted Café Readings around Bellingen. Our impulse was to bridge the gap between published and unpublished writers and to celebrate the art of the written word. The writers came from Sydney to Byron Shire; the Readings included a Young Writers Reading with writers aged between eight and seventeen; a reading of novel excerpts and poetry, and a reading of short stories, drabbles, travel writing and poems. We had a great time! In 2014 the Dorrigo Writers’ Group will also host the inaugural Grassroots Writers’ Group Corroboree over the ANZAC Day weekendl. We have invited writers groups and writers from around the NRWC area. We have planed an energising and skill-building weekend of workshops, discussions, skill sharing and resource pooling between regional writers groups and networking between writers. Our focus: providing a time for regional writers, and people aspiring to write, to connect, to nourish their creative skills and ideas through writing, and to sustain their writing communities.

Iris Curteis, for the Dorrigo Writers’ Group

You can contact Iris on 6657 5274, or by email: