Geelong Arts Centre announces latest Creative Engine Grant Recipients

Anna-Lee Robertson Gorgi Coghlan James Malcher (Bloomshed) Penny McCabe (GAC) and Fiona Luca photo by Peter FosterGeelong Arts Centre is proud to reveal the eight recipients selected in their latest Creative Engine grant round.

Totalling up to $16,000 in financial grants and $30,000 of value-in-kind studio access at the arts centre’s landmark Ryrie Street building and Merge coworking space, the Creative Engine grants directly benefit individuals and organisations who are looking to develop new and exciting work, push the boundaries, and advance their contemporary arts practice.

“We are thrilled to champion the spirit of innovation and artistic exploration,” said Geelong Arts Centre Head of Programming, Penny McCabe. “These grants not only provide essential financial support but also invaluable studio access, fostering a nurturing environment for artists to push boundaries and realise their visions.”

“As we enter our fifth year of Creative Engine grants, we remain committed to uplifting the diverse voices of our community, ensuring that Geelong continues to thrive as a hub of creativity and cultural expression.”

The selected projects span multiple artistic disciplines, including traditional and experimental theatre, music, dance and comedy, but share in common their ability to meet the program’s three selection criteria: Connection, Innovation and Thoughtfulness. Recipients include:

IGNITION RECIPIENTS (Awarded $5,000 + In-kind Studio Access)

Pride and Prejudice is a bold new adaptation created by multi-award winning theatre ensemble, Bloomshed. Created for young audiences, this classic tale is reimagined for an era of economic uncertainty. A romantic comedy about the economics of love, Pride and Prejudice deals with class, power, and the oppression of gender roles.

PARASAIL – Kath Dolheguy
Parasail is an original new theatre work exploring class, neurodiversity and parental abandonment. Based on true events, this black comedy jumps between present day and nineties Geelong as Kelly, the central character, embarks on a mission to rewrite her disappointing childhood memories.

JUMP START RECIPIENTS (Awarded $3,000 + In-kind Studio Access)

NOW: A LIFE STORY – Fiona Luca
NOW: A Life Story, is a creative project grounded in verbatim interviews with a culturally diverse range of elderly, Geelong residents, inviting them to share ‘their stories’ through thought evoking questions and safe and connected space holding. This work will explore a diverse range of art forms to capture the essence of life with the intention of devising a captivating, moving and integrous piece of art for the Geelong region to enjoy.

CABARET OF CALM – Helen Duncan
Cabaret of Calm is a creative and playful interactive experience that explores our implicit knowledge of basic movement and self care practices. A project in development, this work aims to investigate if and how this self knowledge buckles under the pressure and persuasion of the increasingly powerful wellness economy.

PLACE TO MAKE RECIPIENTS (Awarded In-kind Studio Access + In-kind Co-working Space)

SONG BIRDS – Gorgi Coghlan and Anna-Lee Robertson
Song Birds is a development of an immersive concert featuring artists Gorgi Coghlan and Anna-lee Robertson, accompanied on piano by Kym Alexandra Dillon. This theatrical experience will weave a magnificent tapestry of nostalgia and memory, wit, and wisdom – connecting people through a genre bending, eclectic mix of songs from Adele to Rodgers and Hart.

Comedy Victoria is a not-for-profit with the aim of helping comedy writers, producers and performers get more access to education, funding and stages. Established in 2021 by independent producers, Comedy Victoria will utilise the Place to Make grant to network within Geelong and the greater Western Victoria area by using the co-working space as a hub to work from, and find what potential new venues, artists and opportunities exist for members.

THE THINGS WE HOLD DEAR – Catherine Holder (Next Tuesday Theatre)
The Things We Hold Dear development looks to explore the concept of hoarding; a mental health issue that is often misunderstood. This project will explore the themes, how to approach the content and to discuss ‘things’, why people love objects, the connections and attachments formed with the things we own, where comfort and belonging is found.

Foreigner is a short dance film existing to share the feelings of unfamiliarity in a land that is not their own. The thoughtful yet improvised dance piece is developed in response to surrounding environments and elements of sound, space, structure, people and feelings.

The Creative Engine grants have been specifically crafted to provide direct support to local G21 artists and other artist deeply connected to community as they cultivate new and distinctive projects.

In 2024, Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine will continue to offer regular grant rounds to invest in emerging projects, with an array of fresh initiatives for artists in the pipeline set to be revealed over the course of the year.

For more information about Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine, visit: for details.

Image: Anna-Lee Robertson, Gorgi Coghlan, James Malcher (Bloomshed), Penny McCabe (Geelong Arts Centre) and Fiona Luca – photo by Peter Foster