Boosting diversity and inclusion in Victoria’s creative industries

Black Hole Theatre in association with Barking Spider Visual Theatre Les MédusesA push to make Victoria’s creative workforce more inclusive and representative of the diversity of the community is behind the Victorian Government’s new Talent Matters program.

The program is supporting a series of initiatives that will offer skills, professional development and paid employment opportunities in the creative industries to boost representation from people from First Nations and culturally diverse backgrounds, as well as those with a disability.

The first round of the program is backing five new initiatives in the arts, screen and publishing sectors, with total funding of $486,000.

Next Wave Festival’s new Creative Producing Fellowships will offer an 18-month immersive learning and mentoring opportunity for three aspiring Indigenous curators, producers and programmers – including a period of paid employment and the opportunity to develop and produce a program.

Blak Master Classes delivered by film and television production house Typecast Entertainment, will develop new skills, networks and pathways for First Nations artists into the screen industry, with partners including the Compton School, a business school for creatives and youth media social enterprise, Youthworx.

Outer Urban Projects’ Linkages Employment Generator will support 20 culturally diverse artists and arts workers to pursue careers in the arts industry through a two-year immersion and employment program. The program will involve partner organisations including Arts Centre Melbourne and Chunky Move.

Writers Victoria’s Publish-ability project will help four talented emerging writers with a disability to develop their manuscripts and bring their work to the attention of publishers. It will also provide training and resources to equip publishers to be more inclusive of writers with a disability.

Finally, Melbourne Fringe will deliver a new mentorship program Next Steps to support eight talented emerging artists with a disability with one-on-one mentoring.

The Talent Matters program is part of a broader Diversity and Inclusion action of the Creative State strategy, which also includes strengthening the capacity of state-funded creative industries organisations to make them more inclusive and diverse at all levels – from personnel to programming.

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Image: Black Hole Theatre in association with Barking Spider Visual Theatre – Les Méduses at The Drum Theatre, Dandenong to launch (Sub)urban Studio – photo by Carla Gottgens