$11.2M invested in Australian artists and arts projects

Joseph Tawadros The Australia Council for the Arts has announced $11.2 million of investment in Australian arts through its February grants round.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said this grant round would support a number of exciting and innovative projects, involving a diverse range of artists and organisations across the country.

“I’m pleased to announce 404 projects have been funded in this round for project grants for individuals, groups and arts organisations, and development grants for individuals and groups across all art form areas,” said Mr Grybowski. “The projects include innovative collaborations, ground breaking ideas, projects bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, and capacity building for emerging artists.

“This year also marks our continued commitment to providing dedicated funding for artists with disability, with the second allocation of $330,000 awarded to 16 projects for individuals and groups. The flexible and responsive nature of our new grants program continues to increase access to new artists, groups and organisations, with nearly 40 per cent of applicants in this round having never applied to the Australia Council before and 22 per cent of new applicants being successful.”

“This builds on the 20 per cent of first time applicants in the first round of the new program in March 2015 and demonstrates our grants model is working well. Project and development grants are part of a holistic, integrated approach the Council has taken to arts funding through the new model, which also includes core program funding and fellowships. This round has also supported more than 30 writers, with close to $1 million granted to poets, authors of young adult and children’s stories, and fiction and non-fiction writers.”

Some of the successful writers include Clare Atkins from the Northern Territory to write a young adult novel, Western Sydney emerging writer Michael Mohammed Ahmad, and established Tasmanian poet Sarah Day.

Several youth arts organisations have also received funding, including Shopfront Theatre for a project involving 500 people participating in a four-day event at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Western Edge Youth Arts in Footscray and Sensorium Theatre in Perth, which produces theatre for young people with a disability, have also been successful in this round.

Australian/Egyptian oud master Joseph Tawadros (pictured) will spend six months in London to develop a symphonic work with the BBC Orchestra, and Tasmania Performs has received funding to stage Indigenous playwright Nathan Maynard’s play The Season at Ten Days on the Island.

The Third Space has also received funding to create a work for the new National Theatre of Parramatta’s inaugural Telling Tales Festival in October, which will involve an ensemble of Arab Australian performers.

Mr Grybowski said nearly a quarter of the successful applicants were based in regional or remote areas, ensuring regional audiences benefited from stories told by their own communities.

To see the February grant results, visit: online.australiacouncil.gov.au Applications are now open for the next grants round, which closes on 7 June 2016. For more information go to: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.

Image: Joseph Tawadros – courtesy of www.josephtawadros.com