The Hon Senator George Brandis QC, Minister for the Arts, has announced over $889,000 for the March 2014 round of the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund will be distributed to 68 projects across regional, remote and very remote communities of the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
President of Regional Arts Australia Dennis Goldner welcomed the funding announcement saying, “The Regional Arts Fund enables everyone living in regional, remote and very remote communities the opportunity to participate in the arts, in whatever capacity that may be.”
“Just a few months’ work on a project can create new and long-lasting networks between artists/arts workers and isolated, disengaged community members that would not have otherwise been created. There is a prospering cultural life in regional Australia, for which the Regional Arts Fund is vital and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects.”
In this round, almost one quarter (24 percent) of projects funded intend to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as key project beneficiaries while 18 percent aim to involve youth as their project beneficiary. Another encouraging trend is the large portion of projects, 31 percent, planned to take place in remote (21 percent per cent) or very remote (10 percent) locations.
Projects from this Round include:
Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation Artist Exchange
Skills Development Project – $17,200
This project is the second phase of learning a traditional method of twining with bush vine. Artist Lily Roy will travel to Peppimenarti to teach the Durrmu Arts artists the weaving technique which will be documented using a filmmaker and researcher.
Goat Track Theatre Company
Cries of the Kalwun – $30,000
This project is a multi-generational, Community Arts and Cultural Development project exploring the social, historical and cultural impacts of war on the people and place of Scenic Rim. Nine museums, five schools, the local council and an artistic team will go through stages of community research and storytelling, workshopping and rehearsals that will culminate in a new theatre work presented by youth in heritage sites across the region.
Country North SA Medicare Local Ltd.
Recycleart hPA – $5,000
Through a series of workshops artist Craig Ellis along with Port Augusta Headspace staff and Youth Crew will engage young people between 12-25 to design and construct permanent sculptures from re-cycled materials to enhance the garden areas of Headspace, Port Augusta.
Roar Film Pty Ltd
Big Stories: Small Towns – $10,000
As part of the Big Stories: Small Towns in Queenstown and the West Coast with acclaimed Tasmanian filmmakers Roar Films, a series of digital stories will be created with Queenstown community members. The stories will reflect on shared history and experiences, explore the diversity of people and stories in the community. This project will culminate in an innovative exhibition and screening event in the community at the historic Paragon Cinema.
Re-Surveying: Measuring Site – $14,020
The Measuring Site is an installation project activating three interconnected sites around Waratah Bay as one conceptual artwork.
Pride Midwest Inc.
Finding our Wings – $14,995
Pride Midwest will establish an intensive artist-in-residence project to provide professional development for Mid- West circus artists. Emerging and beginner artists will learn new techniques, while advanced and established artists will gain invaluable production, performance and directorial skills, culminating in public performance.
The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in communities across regional and remote Australia, and has an emphasis on youth, disadvantaged, remote and Indigenous communities.
The funding is targeted at activities that will have long term cultural, economic and social benefits for individuals and communities through the development of partnerships and cultural networks, by providing artists with professional development and employment opportunities, and by supporting arts and community development projects that provide local communities with the opportunity to participate in, and access cultural activities.
For more information and a full list of funded projects, visit: www.regionalarts.com.au for details.
Image: Chameleon Arts Collective Mural Project, Balmoral Victoria 2013, Artists Rowena Martinich & Geoffrey Carran – photograph by Clare Ryan. Project supported by the Australian Government Regional Arts Fund.