Case Studies Woven | RAF Case Study (2019)


Cairns-based musical and cultural ensemble Women of AustraNesia (Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, Melanesian and Polynesian heritage) produced a full length show, performed at Cairns Performing Arts Centre to over 750 audience members, with the assistance of a Regional Arts Fund Community Project Grant.

A Community Grant recipient, via the Regional Arts Fund, as managed by Flying Arts Alliance.

‘Woven’ was a musical production that sought to capture the essence of what is most powerful and enduring about the nature of woman. It combined cultural elements such as language, instrumentation and woven artefacts throughout the stories that were expressed through narrative and song. The performance celebrated and elevated the audience, both men and women, giving them a new sense of appreciation for the women who have positively influenced their lives.

Lead artists Rubina Kimiia and Kathryn Ash worked in tandem; with Ash working to create succinct short narratives and build thematic resonance, Kimiia writing, arranging and developing the complex musical score, and both of them combining their talents to create the lyrics.

The resulting six entwined stories of joy, sadness, hardship, resilience and hope weave a timeless tapestry of what it is to be a woman, be they daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties, matriarchs or part of the powerful force that is the collective womanhood. The history of women is often a silent one. Remarkable and everyday stories alike are often taken for granted, or buried under the weight of a history. Stories of true strength carried by women, the nurturing kind and the warrior kind, so rarely find the light. Woven sings about them on top note!

Every woman should be able to see themselves somewhere within one of the characters as the themes are both personal and universal. Woven is a tribute to family, a celebration of womanhood and its role in our society, a poignant and powerful testament of how we are all woven across time and cultures through the family of humanity.

The project involved many phases, consultation, development, script and song writing, rehearsals and performance. Ultimately, the project was a huge success. There were extremely positive responses from women, men and youth alike – that the stories were relatable and universal, the music uplifting, showcasing of local talent was impressive. The women involved felt empowered and were reminded of their worth.

Impacts:

  • Pride from local people seeing their cultures represented within story, music and language
  • Building reputation of local artists for future opportunities in the industry
  • Increased capacity of Women of AustraNesia and discovering the scope of talent in group
  • Increased opportunity to mentor young people of AustraNesian heritage in the Arts
  • Half of the creative team had AustraNesian heritage and further developed skills with theatre industry professionals.
  • Currently undergoing Dramaturg Workshops with funding from RAF
  • Seeking funding for further Creative Development through QASP with a showing at Queensland Winter Playwright Festival, August 2020.
  • Aiming to pitch at ArTour and APAX 2020.

Applicant location: Mount Sheridan QLD 4868
Project Location: Cairns, Qld
Amount of RAF support: $29,500.00
Total project cost: $64,326.00

Women of AustraNesia

Flying-Arts-Alliance-Inc
WOVEN, The Musical 2019. Photographer: Colyn Huber
The Cast of Woven performing I Am Woman – Make Your Mark! Photographer: Colyn Huber