Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts projects funded

Deborah Cheetham_Simon SchluterThe Australian Government has announced more than $500,000 in Australia Council grants to support the creation and promotion of new work, and the development of arts practice by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and arts organisations.

These grants will support the creation of new work through projects in urban, regional and remote areas across a wide range of art forms, supporting artists to make and present work to regional, national and international audiences, showcasing our unique position as home to some of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.

Artists and arts organisations will also be supported to pursue opportunities to develop their arts practice through mentorships, arts workshops, professional development programs and attendance at conferences and seminars. Some of the projects supported include:

Robert Dann to spend a month with Bangarra Dance Theatre to build his dance and choreography skills. Robert will then travel to Cairns to spend another month performing with and learning from the ReKindle project dancers of BlakDance.

Yalata Community Incorporated: A Gift of Sculpture – a project to design, produce and deliver an artwork made in the remote Aboriginal community of Yalata to be presented in Nagasaki’s Peace Park in Japan. This project will promote cultural exchange and commemorate 70 years since the bombing of Nagasaki in WWII.

Archie Roach for a professional development program to mentor Indigenous arts practitioners in the areas of artistic and musical direction and production. Archie Roach is the recipient of the 2015 Australia Council Don Banks Music Award.

Deborah Cheetham AO to write a new large-scale classical choral work, a War Requiem for soloists, chorus and symphony orchestra. The work, Eumeralla will honour the Gunditjmara people who died in conflicts during the mid to late 19th century in south-west Victoria.

Eastern APY lands Art Centre to provide professional development support for male artists from Iwantja, Kaltjiti, Mimili and Pukatja, who are known for their punu (spears, spear throwers, shields) making. In the past five years there has been a punu revival and support is vital to the revival of this tradition.

Ernabella Arts’ project Yangupala Tjuta Waakarinyi, Many Young People Working for a two-fold concentrated mentorship program in 2015 offered to young people in the ceramic studio of Ernabella Arts known as Pukatja Pottery.

These grants were supported through the 2014 grants program. This activity is now supported through the Australia Council’s new grants model launched in January 2015, which includes dedicated funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and organisations.

For more information on funding opportunities, visit www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details. Applications for the next round of Australia Council grants close on Tuesday 2 June 2015.

Image: Deborah Cheetham AO – photo by Simon Schluter