$890,225 in arts funding for regional Australia

8 July 2014

I am pleased to announce that through the Australian Government's Regional Arts Fund, 68 projects will share in $890,225, delivering a range of arts and cultural activities in regional and remote communities across the nation.

From Bunbury in Western Australia to Mount Tamborine in Queensland, and from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory to Launceston in Tasmania, communities will have the opportunity to experience local and interstate arts projects and performances through the first of the two Community Grants funding rounds for 2014.

A priority of this government's agenda for the arts is to ensure that all communities have access to our vibrant arts sector. The Regional Arts Fund is one way the Australian Government gives all Australians the opportunity to experience, create and participate in the arts.

The Regional Arts Fund also provides valuable opportunities for regional artists and arts workers to develop their practice and pursue creative excellence. Projects funded in this round are delivered through a diverse range of art forms, including digital media, sculpture, film, theatre, Indigenous music and circus workshops for children.

The Regional Arts Fund is administered on behalf of the Australian Government by Regional Arts Australia and its member network of regional arts organisations in the states and territories. For more information about regional arts visit www.arts.gov.au/regional.

This funding comes on top of $11.5 million provided in 2013–14 by the Australian Government to the Australia Council to run the highly successful national regional programs which include Playing Australia, Festivals Australia, Visions of Australia, the Contemporary Touring Initiative and the Contemporary Music Touring Program. For more information about these programs visit www.australiacouncil.gov.au.

Projects supported through the latest round of the Regional Arts Fund include:

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Darwin Community Arts Incorporated, Reading the Signs—$20,000
A collaborative theatre production dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of communication faced by people living with disability. The 12-month performance development project will incorporate a series of skills development workshops encompassing dance/movement, visual arts, drama, script-writing/story-telling, film/photography and interactive technologies. 'Reading the Signs' will be a mixed ability performance staged during Darwin Disability Awareness Week 2015.

QUEENSLAND: Nikki Michail, Quandamooka Culture Tracks: Arts & Cultural Exchange—$26,925
This project is a ten day arts and culture exchange between the Quandamooka peoples, local residents and visiting artists from the Solomon Islands which includes the teaching and learning of traditional songs, dance, language, stories and local cultural experiences. The cultural exchanges will culminate in shared performances of local Aboriginal people and the non-Indigenous community.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: SA Rural Women's Gathering Association—Jamestown Committee, Jamestown Welcome Mosaic Sculpture—$4,200

This project will see the creation of a ceramic mosaic sculpture while providing rural women in the Jamestown area with an opportunity to work alongside a professional artist to develop their skills in depicting the local landscape and industry.

TASMANIA: Fiona Stewart, There but for the grace—$3,500
Going into Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison as a theatre maker, Fiona Stewart will create a show about women 'inside'. Using the prisoners' words in monologue, dialogue and song, audiences will be given a rare glimpse into the life of women on the inside.

VICTORIA: Fairfax Festival, the Democratic Set—$15,000
The Fairfax Festival and Back to Back Theatre will work with 171 youth from 11 regional communities in a dynamic community film-making project.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Southern Forest Arts Inc, Forest Rhythm—$11,490
Southern Forest Arts will engage regional musician/artist Peter Keelan to facilitate a multi-arts skills development opportunity for the community through five week-long residencies focusing on the creation of an interactive sound sculpture for Understory-Art in Nature. The project will culminate in a community concert featuring performances of participants' compositions.

The full list is of grant recipients is attached.