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89 Projects benefit from over $1.3 million in Regional Arts Funding

BY Regional Arts Australia | 07-Dec-2016
Funds totalling $1,310,788.30 will support 89 arts and cultural projects across rural, regional and remote Australia through the latest round of the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund. The projects involve a wide range of art forms, partnerships and professional practice.
Funds totalling $1,310,788.30 will support 89 arts and cultural projects across rural, regional and remote Australia through the latest round of the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund. The projects involve a wide range of art forms, partnerships and professional practice.

Regional Arts Australia President Kate Fielding highlighted important trends: “The projects announced here are indicative of the creative spirit that lies at the heart of arts and culture in regional Australia. The strength of many of these projects lies in the collaborations between artist and community, between organisations and volunteers, between the arts and other community drivers. A significant number of the projects announced involve an engagement with local government. Local government is a key player in delivering arts and cultural activity, and Regional Arts Australia is keen to increase its engagement with local government agencies across the regions. One project, in particular involves partnerships between Arts Mid North Coast and the relevant six Mid North Coast local government entities in NSW. We also welcome a trend that sees a high number of professional artists choosing to live and work in regional Australia. There continues to be a large number of projects that support the professional development of artists. This capacity building of mid-career artists being supported to produce work that reflects and celebrates their local environment is exciting. We welcome the integration of professional artists working with community members to present locally relevant content in high quality formats. They provide communities with opportunities to access the arts in new ways that are challenging, while remaining relevant to their local area and reflective of local experience. We want to encourage high quality arts practice, while maintaining a respectful creative partnership between artist and community”. The projects are based in all States and the Northern Territory and will commence from 1 January 2017. For a full list of funded projects see http://regionalarts.com.au/raf-announcements

Some outstanding examples of key projects in each State and the Northern Territory include:

Wake Up Time Women, Goonengerry, NSW $19,930
Bundjalung and Kunwinjku women's cultural exchange and collaborative textile project
This project facilitates the Wake Up Time Women (a regional Bundjalung women’s textile-arts collective), to participate in a cultural exchange and collaborative arts project with a group of Kunwinjku textile artists, visiting from Injalak Arts, Oenpelli, NT. Both groups specialise in fabric printing, dyeing, fibre and weaving. This will support the women to develop professional skills and create relationships of cultural significance with other regional Indigenous women artists.

Watch This Space, Alice Springs, NT $20,000
The Pop-up Language School
A public participatory art project dedicated to the exploration and celebration of linguistic diversity in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Artists supported by Artist Run Initiative, Watch This Space, will re-purpose a commercial space temporarily, creating a highly-designed "school" space for people to listen and exchange knowledge of multiple languages spoken in the town, via listening stations and interactive exhibits, and live encounters with people, with special priority given to the Indigenous languages of the area, Central & Eastern Arrernte.

La Luna Youth Arts, Townsville, QLD $12,000
Art Village
A community arts experience including circus, dance, drama and visual art activities for young people and families at Townsville’s Cotter’s Markets, Central Saturdays, Strand Night Markets and Riverway Night Markets. This no-fee-for-access approach will encourage people who do not normally engage in the arts to participate, growing creativity and building connection.

The Waikerie and District Historical Society, Waikerie, SA $15,786
Collectors/Collections: Waikerie Film
Artists Paul Gazzola and Nadia Cusimano will mentor the Historical Society in the preservation, digitisation and presentation of super 8 films belonging to the local Waikerie residents. These films are an integral part of the town’s cultural and social history and poetically frame the relationship to the river and local environment. A large scale film event will be presented as part of the 2018 SA History Festival.

Arts Health Agency Inc., Ulverstone, TAS $8,250
Carnival of the Here & Now
An event bringing trained art workers and aged care providers to a community centre to participate in music, circus, dance and interactive art. Seniors are supported to contribute vignette performances, raising the visibility of older people's artistic contribution to society.

Pollyanna Gibson, Sale, VIC $6,000
The BIG Picture TOPshelf Artist
TOPshelf is a collaborative artist-in-residency project based in PollyannaR's Big Picture Studio. It will provide a platform for emerging Gippsland artists to create, exhibit and workshop their work in a high profile location in the heart of Sale. Their process will be documented as they build on their artist skills, confidence and public profile within the town and show the public different modalities of art.

Creative Corner Inc., Margaret River, WA $18,850
Emergence Creative Festival
The Emergence Creative Festival is an annual conference and festival held in the Margaret River region in March. The event links the South West creative industries and provides a platform for creative minds to come together to network, develop skills and share ideas. The event showcases the region’s best emerging talents from art, design, animation, photography, film and music, and offers professional development and employment opportunities with real business outcomes in the community. The program will include the Creative Crawl community event and the artist professional development Co Lab Workshops.