Youth Laneway Artist On Journey To Success

Kempsey Shire Council

The Macleay Youth Laneway Festival is an opportunity for young people to demonstrate their creativity, express themselves and engage with the community as part of NSW Youth Week Celebrations.

It’s a fabulous and uplifting community event, but what you don’t always get to hear is the true impact that being part of this event has on the lives of the young people involved and the opportunities and doors it opens for them.

We want to share this story to inspire others as to what is possible when you take a chance and put yourself out there to be involved.

Council’s Community Development team were recently contacted by the parent of a proud Kamilaroi /Dunghutti & Yanyuwa /Garrwa girl, Lailah aged 14.

“Lailah has always taken an interest in art, always painting, sketching and digital art, it started when I asked her to do something digital to enter into the Youth Laneway Festival exhibition” explained Lailah’s mother.

“The Laneway Festival organizer this year reached out & suggested Lailah should have a stall at the event. With only a week to prepare, she decided to do up a few more digital designs & they were to be sold as framed prints using a local printing company. The stall and event were amazing to be a part of and seeing all the youth artists, performers, stalls, and more, it was so inspiring.” She commented.

Following Lailah’s participation in the 2024 Macleay Youth Laneway Festival, many new and exciting opportunities have opened up for Lailah, giving her a newfound love and confidence within herself.

“Lailah’s Artwork is now framed and displayed in the famous Savages Lane for the year and with the power of social media she has gone on to sell more framed prints.” Said Lailah’s mother.

Other opportunities offered to Lailah have included “being asked to enter into local art competitions, exhibition opportunities at Coastline Credit Union from 24 June and SWR NAIDOC Art Exhibition on 12 July and being asked by the local football club to design their Indigenous round playing jerseys.”

“Lailah also held a stall with ACHL/CHL at the NSW Elders Olympics which was a hit and has upcoming stall opportunities at the Saltwater Freshwater Festival and local markets.”

Such an amazing story to inspire other young people to get involved. We are thrilled for Lailah and wish her every success as she takes her passion for art to new heights.

“Thank you to Aisha Spokes and the Community Development Team at Kempsey Shire Council. Without the encouragement from this event, all these & future opportunities wouldn’t have been possible.” Said Lailah’s mother.

Aisha Spokes Community Development Officer replied “It is fantastic that we have been able to help support this young person, which has opened the door for many other opportunities for her! Exactly the goal of what we want to achieve with this event and associated initiatives– build confidence, inspire, give exposure, and create opportunities.”

If you’re interested in participating in next year’s Macleay Youth Laneway Festival event, on Saturday 12 April 2025 and want to join out mailing list please reach out to [email protected] and we will be in contact closer to the time with further information.

/Public Release. View in full here.