Melbourne artists to share in $1 million worth of Arts Grants

Western Edge Youth Arts #CalibanStMelbourne’s status as Australia’s creative capital has been strengthened today with the City of Melbourne announcing $1 million in grants as part of the 2016 Annual Arts Grants Program.

Seventy-five artists and arts organisations will share in the funding for arts projects in 2016 after Council increased the funding pool by $200,000 based on the strength of applications received.

Chair of Council’s Arts and Culture committee, Councillor Rohan Leppert said a substantial increase in the number of applicants in this funding round is indicative of the world-class talent thriving in Melbourne.

“We received almost 350 applications for this year’s grants – a 72 per cent increase from last year. This made for an extremely competitive process and is a good indicator of the importance of these grants,” said Cr Leppert.

“Because of the overwhelming number of applications in all categories, we have taken the unusual but very exciting step of dedicating an additional unbudgeted $200,000 to the 2016 grants, so that we can fund a greater proportion of this really strong field of applications”

“Melbourne is one of the world’s great arts cities and the arts grants are an important way for us to help bring new and creative ideas to life to ensure we build on this reputation into the future.”

This year’s recipients include:

  • Writer and visual artist Sharon Huebner for her work, Look Listen Learn – a project focused on five Aboriginal women set in the late 1800s, reflecting everyday family and cultural life;
  • Celebrated artist and primate enthusiast Lisa Roet for her work, Golden Monkey – an installation of an intricate inflatable 7m-tall Golden Taramind monkey celebrating the Chinese Year of the Monkey;
  • Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, an arts festival exploring human rights through cinema, music, visual arts and panel discussions;
  • First Nations Australia Writers Network for a series of master classes for emerging and midlist Aboriginal writers as part of Black and Bright the Victorian Indigenous Literature Festival;
  • Performer and choreographer Lilian Steiner for a new work titled Admission into the Everyday Sublime;
  • Humanist artist William Kelly will build on his work, The Big Picture: Peace or War? – a large scroll of visual images reflecting on the topic of peace, to be hung from the top of the Dome Reading Room at the State Library;
  • Inventi will present Classics at the Dock – a musical series curated by Inventi Ensemble performed at the Library at the Dock;
  • Radical RadioCelebrating 40 Years of 3CR; a collaborative publication where five writers will explore the past and present of Melbourne’s longest running community radio station, and
  • Eminent Australian visual artist Elizabeth Gower for her unique abstract composition work, he loves me he loves me not – a large-scale installation of 10 suspended semi-transparent film panels featuring the name of the work 21,915 times.

The 2016 Arts Grants Program offered grants of up to $20,000 for one-off projects in three categories: Arts Project; Indigenous Arts Projects and Arts Residencies.

Arts Residencies is a new category in 2016 which provide artists with the opportunity to work within the Council’s Arts and Heritage Collection and Creative Spaces Program to develop and expand their practice in any art form.

“Access to space as well as funds, is also a crucial element for artists in the city. The inclusion of the Arts Residencies category is allowing allow seven artists to experience and interpret some of the great spaces in Melbourne,” said Cr Leppert.

The Arts Grants Program is underpinned by the City of Melbourne’s commitment to support artists, as outlined under the Funding theme in the City of Melbourne Arts Strategy 2014-17. All applications are assessed by an external advisory panel and endorsed by the City of Melbourne.

For more information, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Western Edge Youth Arts #CalibanSt

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