Melbourne arts community shares $800,000 in grants funding

Outer Urban Projects Poetic License Dante Sofra Milad Norouzi and Kevin Nugara - photo by Miguel RiosThe City of Melbourne has announced more than $800,000 in grants as part of the Annual Arts Grants Program, supporting local artists to develop and create new works for the city. Sixty eight artists and arts organisations will receive grants of up to $20,000 for projects in theatre, dance, music, circus, craft, literature and visual art which will be delivered in 2018.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said the grants would gift Melburnians with rich arts and cultural events next year, with the majority free of charge. “For more than 20 years, the City of Melbourne has fostered artistic talent and made an enormous contribution to Melbourne’s vibrant creative life through our investment in arts grants,” Councillor Leppert said.

“These grants have never been more popular with 384 applications received this year, an increase of 20 per cent on last year. We have also attracted new emerging and established talent with almost three quarters of the total pool from first time applicants.”

This year’s recipients include: Not Good Place by Josh Muir and Aden Ridgeway will involve the installation of porcelain ceramic tiles, carved with Aboriginal stories, in the bush sections of Treasury Gardens. These tiles will then act as reflectors for digital works to be projected on and reflected off, activating the space through light.

Hosted by Stephanie Van Schilt and Veronica Sullivan, Sisteria Podcast Season 2 is an arts and culture podcast created by women, about women, for women and also for anyone who wants to listen. Memetica will present Street Skeeters – a physical theatre work which will be developed from an inclusive, free workshop that will create six sports wheelchair mounted giant puppet creatures – the participants will act as puppeteers at free public roving performances events across Melbourne.

The Echoes Project is a new contemporary dance/music performance from Ria Soemardjo and Janette Hoe who will draw on their personal connections to Javanese and Chinese ceremonial traditions – the work will be presented at Mapping Melbourne Festival 2018 in CBD laneway locations.

City of Androids by John McCormick will provide a view of the city from the perspective of a child robot. The robot is taken on a journey through the city in a pram and creates stories about the wonder of its surroundings as it encounters new places, people and situations.

Councillor Leppert said the importance of Council’s investment in the local creative community could not be underestimated. “Some 94 per cent of artists surveyed by the City of Melbourne and RMIT University told us their projects would not have been possible without financial support from programs such as our arts grants,” said Councillor Leppert.

“I am also pleased to see artists pushing the boundaries to create works that explore issues such as diversity, disability, gender identity and Australian history that are sure to provoke thought and discussion.”

For more information, including full list of annual arts grants recipients, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Dante Sofra, Milad Norouzi and Kevin Nugara in Outer Urban Projects’ Poetic License – photo by Miguel Rios

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