Fellowships offer New Horizons to Regional Artists in NSW

Minister for the Arts Troy Grant with recipients of the Regional Arts FellowshipsThe NSW Government has awarded three $50,000 NSW Regional Arts Fellowships to three deserving artists at the ARTLANDS conference which concluded in Dubbo over the weekend.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant congratulated this year’s recipients, Bega choreographer Lee Pemberton, Sandigo artist and curator Sarah McEwan, and Muttama-based electronic artist Dr David Burraston.

The Regional Arts Fellowships support self-directed professional development programs involving local collaborations and international residencies and mentorships, and are designed to take the recipient’s careers to the next level.

“These artists will come out the other end of their fellowships with more knowledge and experience and I hope that they share it with the next generation of regional artists,” said Mr Grant. “Our Government is proud that these fellowships are building on the strength of our vibrant arts and cultural hubs across regional NSW and helping some significant artists to innovate and reach new audiences.”

Ms Pemberton, a former director of fLING! Physical Theatre, will use her fellowship to connect emerging dancers with experienced dancers from the Bega Valley and create new choreographic works that explore a local sense of place and history.

Artist and curator Sarah McEwan will undertake mentorships and a residency in North Carolina and Los Angeles and will create three new works to be exhibited in Dubbo Regional Gallery, Wagga Wagga and the Cad Factory – all in regional NSW.

Dr David Burraston will take up mentorships with internationally renowned artists and sound designers in Britain, Europe and Chile, producing new recordings and artworks to be exhibited in Hull, Britain, and in Cootamundra, NSW.

The NSW Government also announced a Regional Excellence investment of $800,000, stating the four-year program starting next year will mean the ideas and concepts discussed at ARTLANDS don’t just stay here, they will help improve arts and culture across regional NSW.

“The final design of the Regional Excellence Program will be informed by the issues, stimulating conversations and themes raised over the last four days of this ARTLANDS Festival and Conference,” said Mr Grant. “With 40 per cent of our state’s population living in regional NSW, I’m delighted that this program will go some way to achieving balance between the city and the bush, bringing to these communities the excellence, excitement and innovation that our local artists can produce.”

Image: Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant with recipients of the Regional Arts Fellowships (supplied)