News Regional Arts Fund Announcement | June 2018
Regional arts funding features connections with health, science, local histories and new technology
The Australian Government has announced more than $673,000 for 54 projects through the latest Regional Arts Fund Community Grants round. Funded projects will take place from 1 July 2018 across regional, remote and rural Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
Arts organisations, local councils, community groups and individual artists will produce and deliver projects that create high-quality artistic works, increase community capacity and provide professional development for regional artists and arts workers.
In this latest round, the diversity and volume of applications was particularly high, with high-calibre applications resulting in a particularly competitive round.
The convergence of art and science is a prevalent theme, with a number of projects that respond to and engage with the natural environment. Local narratives feature strongly. Professional artists are collecting narratives from the local community as the basis for new original works. New media and experimentation with technology shines through as the mode in which artists are choosing to explore and produce work – often using technology to bring history to contemporary formats.
Regional Arts Australia Chair Simon Spain noted, “These trends demonstrate a connection to place that is consistent with Australian regional arts practice. These connections often result in distinctive works that reflect the location, engaging large segments of the communities in which they are derived through the creation of meaningful content that is firmly grounded in the local environment”.
There is a continued focus on arts and health with projects addressing issues such as accessibility, dementia, and providing art in hospital settings.
Almost 20% of funding has been directed to First Nations artists and organisations for new collaborations and contemporary arts practice.
Some projects that highlight these trends include:
Mr Benjamin Tupas, Mount Lofty, Qld.
|In conjunction with ‘LIT Festival: Stories In Light’, the LIT Futures project will see the creation of three site-specific light sculptures and delivery of artist-led community workshops. Informed by stories from the Toowoomba region, the workshops will facilitate lantern-making and choreographed movement, and the project will culminate in a night parade and the curation of a night garden space.|
District Council of Streaky Bay, Streaky Bay, SA
Art Meets Science: Geolocation Journeys On! Residency
|A collaboration of artists, scientists, educators and Aboriginal artists will invoke community activism through community forums, hands-on workshops and field experience covering Southern Ocean ecology, design, visual art, engineering and data analysis. The participants will learn about marine predators and share in an arts and science dialogue to generate new, exciting and innovative approaches that explore the local marine environment and the many challenges it faces.|
Mast Films Pty Ltd, Battery Point, Tas.
|Thread is a cross-cultural community development project where refugees and new arrivals and young people from, born and/or raised in, Australia create an original five part web-series together. The stories created will be fictional, though they will reflect the lived experiences of the participants, and set in contemporary Hobart. The series is planned to be a mix of drama, comedy and thriller, and will be screened, with a Q&A, in Hobart through the Youth Arts and Recreation Centre, at the ‘Taste of Moonah Festival’, and in Adelaide at the ‘DreamBIG Festival’.|
South Gippsland Shire Council, Leongatha, Vic.
It’s no drama
|It’s no drama, an emerging inclusive theatre group for people with disabilities, evolved from partnership with South Gippsland Shire Council beginning in December 2015. This project will involve the creation of a new original work by the ensemble, with mentorship by Rawcus, and a new partnership with local film production house, Drift Media. It aims to further engage the community in original theatre, with the added dimension of film. Drift Media will mentor ensemble members to produce a short film about the process. A panel of ensemble/enablers will “tour” the film as part of Come and Play – All of May. The project will also engage with local schools to deliver the film/panel/workshop experience for students, educators and the community.|
Shepparton Arts Festival Inc., Shepparton, Vic.
|My Landscape is a project that will collect stories from local people, describing their connection to the areas’ landscapes. These stories will be collected, collated and shared with a number of new and established participant artists from the Greater Shepparton region, who will communicate the stories in their chosen medium. Participant artists will be supported through a skills development experience with selected lead regional artists and a highly accomplished mentor. The resulting works will be exhibited as part of the 2019 Shepparton Festival.|
Denmark Arts Council Inc., Denmark, WA
The Big QC
|The Big QC will bring Denmark’s community together to explore the 25-year history of the ‘Brave New Works Festival’ and extrapolate its future. Stories will be informed by a series of community interviews, an extensive archive of video, photographic and written material and community arts workshops resulting in musical compositions, theatrical snippets, contemporary dance, written and spoken word. This material will be brought together and presented as three multi-art form performances; The Big QC.|