Support for Creative Recovery in Fire-Affected Victorian Communities

Myrtleford-Mosiac-Trail-Snake-photo-by-Andrew-R-Jones-PhotographyCreative workers affected by the summer bushfires will soon start to rebuild their businesses, tell their stories and contribute to community recovery through the first round of the Victorian Government’s Creative Recovery program.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson has announced the first 19 projects to share in more than $90,000 in grants to support creative recovery in the Alpine region, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong and Wangaratta.

“It’s heartening to see creative projects moving forward and we’re proud to support these outstanding creative practitioners and resilient communities on their journey to recovery,” said Minister Pearson.

The first of the projects supported through the program were selected for their ability to further the social and economic recovery of impacted communities, and help local creative businesses get back on their feet.

Textile artist Kate Crowley will replace tools, machinery and dyes that were destroyed along with her home in Corryong, and stained-glass artist Heather Chatwood will begin to rebuild 30 years of patterns, tools and materials that were lost in the East Gippsland fires.

Mosaic artists Two Crackpots will work with the Myrtleford community on a mural inspired by ideas of the “value” of a town, and artist Kirrily Anderson will run a youth mentoring program in Rutherglen to create a mural based on the theme of resilience.

Several recipients will use storytelling to explore the impacts of the bushfires, including filmmaker India MacDonnell’s documentary about saving her home in Orbost and Wangaratta author Craig Dent whose new book will explore the idea of loss. A live storytelling event will involve contributions from members of communities in East Gippsland.

Others will adapt or extend their practice, like the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative which will present online weaving and vocal teacher Claire O’Connell who will invest in equipment to improve her online teaching program.

“These projects will provide a vital economic boost to regional areas impacted by bushfires and coronavirus and will deliver ways for communities to come together and connect,” said Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

The Creative Recovery initiative is part of the Victorian and Commonwealth Government’s $86 million Community Recovery Package for bushfire-affected communities announced in January.

The initiative is being delivered by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with Bushfire Recovery Victoria, Regional Development Victoria and Creative Victoria. For more information, visit: www.rav.net.au for details.

Image: Myrtleford Mosiac Trail – photo by Andrew R Jones Photography

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