30 November 2018

$300,000 arts funding round kicks off as community outreach grants announced

| Ian Bushnell
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Furniture designer Elliot Bastianon: the grant has brought his work to a larger audience outside of Canberra. Photos: Supplied.

Got a creative idea that just needs a little cash to get off the ground? The ACT Government may be able to help out with the opening of its second round of Arts Activities $5-50k funding, with a total funding pool of $300,000 available.

The annual pool of $750,000 in project funding is delivered in two major rounds each year of grants up to $50,000 as well as a rolling program of grants up to $5000. The first round resulted in 16 projects being funded through a highly competitive process.

The new round of $5-50,000 arts activities funding opens on 1 December 2018 and closes 28 February 2019, and is the second time this funding round has been run, with the first happening earlier this year.

Eligible activities can relate to artforms including dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts and arts-based festivals.

Arts Activities funding is available to ACT-based artists at all stages of their careers and to organisations providing the Canberra community with opportunities to engage in the arts.

It supports artists, groups and arts organisations to undertake a broader range of activities including artform-based projects, mentorships, residencies, professional or skills development and opportunities for the community to actively engage in the arts.

For previous recipient Elliot Bastianon, an Arts Activity grant enabled the ANU graduate and Canberra furniture designer to develop a new body of work in depth with the goal of developing a sustainable arts practice.

He developed a collection of furniture which was exhibited in Sydney early this year and was subsequently picked up by DesignByThem – a furniture showroom based in Chippendale.
“They have an incredible reach so I’m now able to access clients I wouldn’t have been able to previously,” he said.
“Funding from organisations like ArtsACT allows creatives who aren’t based in larger cities the opportunity to showcase their work to a broader audience.”
Founder and studio director of the shared workshop, Six Wiluna, Elliot believes furniture is more than just something to be used but an apparatus of communication, a tool to deliver a message or encourage a different way of seeing the world.
In 2017, Elliot established Furnished Forever with industrial designer Rene Linssen, a furniture company with a focus on high volume commercial and residential applications.
Other previous $5-50k funding recipients include:
  • Australian Dance Party to create and present a new contemporary dance work ‘from the vault’
  • Hands On Studio for a project between Hands on Studio and Canberra artists
  • Liz Lea to present BOLD II dance festival
  • Chenoeh Miller to present an original work Evangeline by Little Dove Theatre at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events, Gordon Ramsay has also announced the successful recipients of the Community Outreach Program and Sector Capacity Building funding rounds.

Ten projects received a total of $332,910 from the Community Outreach Program to provide more opportunities for Canberrans to get creative.

The projects will engage people living with disability, members of the LGBTIQ community, young refugees, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“These community initiatives provide opportunities for more Canberrans to engage with the arts, and importantly will remove barriers to participation,” Mr Ramsay said.

Mr Ramsay also announced $75,000 funding to the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre to build the capacity of arts organisations in the ACT.

“Lighthouse will provide tailored advice and assistance to staff and board members of arts organisations on business and strategic planning, sustainability, risk, sponsorship and governance,”
Mr Ramsay said.

“This is in addition to providing capacity building funding to Music ACT of $108,000 to support live music in Canberra, and Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centre with $25,000 to support individual artists.”

Community Outreach funding recipient Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centre has received $39,038 for ‘Ahead of the Game’, a program of workshops, engagement and mentorships with LGBTIQ artists exploring the connections between sport and the arts.

Adelaide Reif from the Arts Centre said that, in partnership with AIDS Council of ACT and A Gender Agenda, it would be working with Melbourne-based performance artist Tristan Meecham throughout 2019.

Tristan Meecham is the Director of All The Queens Men, a participatory theatre company that champions social equality and celebrates diverse communities.

She said three LGBTIQ artists would be selected to work with Meecham but the broader LGBTIQ community would be involved as well.

Sport was chosen because it was a very Australian and diverse experience, and a way to explore inclusion and exclusion from society.

Ms Reif said that for a number of reasons the LGBTIQ community often struggled to be included and had a high rate of mental health issues.

“We hope it provides them with a meaningful way to be involved in arts activities, and through that build social inclusion and self-confidence,” she said.

The results would be presented at the AIDS Action Council Fair Day in November 2019 at the Arts Centre, but it depended on how the program evolves and what form – performance, visual artworks, or video – that would take.

Community Outreach funding recipients:

  • Ausdance ACT – $25,700 for LINK-d, a dance project for young refugees.
  • Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centre – $39,038 for ‘Ahead of the Game’, a program of workshops,
    engagement and mentorships with LGBTIQ artists.
  • Belconnen Community Service – $48,600 for ‘Social Art Park’ community arts project in story sharing and creative arts workshops on placemaking.
  • Craft ACT – $22,013 for a disability access and inclusion plan for DESIGN Canberra.
  • Gungahlin Impressions Art Group – $15,572 for a program of visual art workshops across the community.
  • M16 Artspace – $49,970 for an Indigenous youth mentoring program in visual arts.
  • Liz Lea – $19,965 for a community dance project celebrating the Moon Landing.
  • Rebus Theatre – $28,618 for a theatrical performance for emerging artists with disabilities.
  • Tuggeranong Community Arts Association – $45,640 for a community arts and cultural development mentorship program for underrepresented and culturally diverse communities.
  • Woodlands and Wetlands Trust – $37,794 for a creative visual arts program for the community including workshops and field studies.

Potential applicants for the Arts Activity grants can contact artsACT at artsact@act.gov.au or on 62072384.

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