Orange-based not-for-profit publishing house Dirt Lane Press used a Micro Grant to create a story walk to launch and promote their new children’s picture book ‘Just One Bee’ by Margrete Lamond, Anthony Bertini, and Christopher Nielsen.
The story walk was installed in the Orange Botanic Gardens in April 2021 and officially ‘launched’ by Dirt Lane Press on 16 May 2021 (as part of the book’s launch event at the Gardens).
Just One Bee was launched by Mary Liz-Andrews (Orange Museum). Michael Newman (Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council) provided a welcome to country. Both the authors and the illustrator—Margrete Lamond, Anthony Bertini, and Christopher Nielsen respectively—took part in the launch. Groups were guided along the story walk for viewings and there were impromptu readings.
The story walk has generated a significant amount of media interest, including:
• Central Western Daily
• ABC Central West radio
• Prime7 News.
The story walk has provided a way for Dirt Lane Press to ‘restart’ in-person community engagement in 2021.
The story walk remains open to the public (free of charge) and is expected to be in situ for up to six months.
“We have been thrilled by the sales and success of the newly released Just One Bee by the local publisher Dirt Lane Press. As a shop owner I have been delighted with the sales numbers but as a member of Dirt Lane Press [and Treasurer] I have been so proud to hear the wonderful feedback from those who came searching for the book after their visit to the Orange Botanic Gardens. One lady from South Australia couldn’t wait to get home to tell others of the idea of a ‘story walk’. Many have said how much their children had enjoyed the story and it had created an opportunity to discuss the importance of bees to nature, and the idea of one person being able to make a difference. Just One Bee was the bestselling children’s picture book at Collins Booksellers Orange over the past month. – Margaret Schwebel, Co-owner, Collins Booksellers Orange, 24 June 2021
How the Micro Grant money was spent
The story walk project was part-funded by—and would not have been possible without—a community activity grant of $2000 from Arts OutWest (ref. the Arts Restart Micro Grants Program March 2021).
This money was spent in April 2021. It went towards the cost of professionally printing enlarged spreads of the pages of the book, beautifully reproduced on a durable medium (aluminium composite panel) that can withstand weather. The panels were affixed to the stands to create the story walk.
Image credits: Seana Smith