$770,000 for Aboriginal arts and cultural projects

The NSW Government has provided almost $770,000 for 25 projects that support training, career development, employment and marketing opportunities for Aboriginal artists, arts workers and young people across NSW.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the new projects will enable Aboriginal artists to build on their abilities and talents, boost local economies and encourage a greater appreciation of Aboriginal culture in the wider community.

“Almost $296,000 will fund two Aboriginal art fairs, two projects that provide dance and theatre training to young Aboriginal people and two career traineeships,” Mr Grant said.

“An additional $260,000 will provide employment placements for four Aboriginal arts professionals at leading arts organisations, while 15 projects valued at $208,000 will support Aboriginal artists in regional and remote communities.”

Mr Grant said the Government is proud to invest in a vibrant and distinctive Aboriginal arts and cultural sector, supporting local artists and arts workers across NSW to tell the stories of their communities.

“NSW is fortunate to have a vast array of Aboriginal artistic talent across art forms including visual art, dance, theatre, literature and music,” he said.

“The funding is part of the Government’s Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Strategy, which guides Arts NSW’s ongoing partnerships and supports new creative opportunities for Aboriginal artists, arts workers, communities and audiences.

“In February, we launched the second stage of this strategy, Connection, Culture and Pathways, which has a focus on career pathways through initiatives such as mentorships, secondments, employment placements and industry partnerships,” he said.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said these projects would help many talented Aboriginal artists continue to tell compelling stories in many art forms.

“Aboriginal artists have been telling unique stories for thousands of years and we want to make sure that continues in Sydney suburbs and throughout regional NSW,” she said.

The six projects that support training for young Aboriginal people, marketing opportunities and career traineeships are:  

NAISDA Dance College (Gosford): $70,000 to engage and mentor young Aboriginal people from across NSW in cultural and contemporary dance while providing a pathway to explore dance as a career option and audition for the college. The 2016 Garabara Ngurra program will select participants from across NSW to attend the week-long camp including traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dance, Torres Strait Island dance and Hip Hop workshops.

Australian Theatre for Young People (Sydney): $35,000 for the Djuraliprogram, which supports young Sydney-based Aboriginal students in moving from primary to high school. Partnering with the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the program includes drama workshops, a showcase performance, a mentoring and leadership stream and employment pathways into creative industries.

Regional Arts NSW (Dubbo): $55,000 for the Artlands Arts Fair as part ofArtlands Dubbo 2016, the Regional Arts Australia national conference and festival in October. The market-style fair will give regional Aboriginal artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work to conference attendees and the public.

Carriageworks Limited (Sydney): $50,000 for the Black Arts Market, curated by Hetti Perkins and Jonathan Jones at Carriageworks, Eveleigh on 12h and 13 November. NSW Aboriginal artists will offer their works for sale and engage with new audiences.

Information and Cultural Exchange (Parramatta): $54,600 under Artsready to engage an entry-level Aboriginal trainee to work across the digital arts organisation in a year-long program.  The trainee will gain skills across ICE’s operations including community engagement, creative development and production, marketing, communications and fundraising.

Blacktown Arts Centre: $31,800 under Artsready to support an Aboriginal trainee in arts administration at the centre. The trainee will gain experience across all aspects of administration including venue management, marketing, visitor services and programming.

The four employment placements for Aboriginal arts professionals are:   

Bundanon Trust (Shoalhaven): $62,500 for an Aboriginal Arts Manager to support professional delivery of the trust’s artist-in-residence, education and public events program. The position will have a particular but not exclusive focus on the trust’s Aboriginal projects.

First Hand Solutions (Malabar): $80,100 for an Aboriginal art curator and Facilitator to integrate art workshops into community programs, deliver Aboriginal art workshops in primary schools, mentor Aboriginal artists, curate exhibitions and grow the Blak Markets program to widen exposure of Aboriginal art.

Boomalli Aboriginal Artist Co-operative Ltd (Leichhardt): $65,875 for a Cultural Coordinator to organise events and exhibitions for the Co-operative’s 30-year anniversary in 2017. This will involve liaising with artists, organising catalogue production and marketing promotional work.

Moogahlin Performing Arts (Eveleigh, Sydney): $54,000 for an arts manager to continue working with the organisation’s artistic directorate across project management, producing and arts administrative duties with a focus on
professional development. The manager will use these skills to support capacity building of a growing Aboriginal arts organisation.

The 15 projects for Aboriginal artists in regional and remote areas are: 

Western Riverina Arts Inc: $15,000 for Murrumbidgee Marramarra, a series of Aboriginal arts workshops on painting, woodcarving and weaving. Experienced Aboriginal artists will mentor young artists from the Western Riverina community with works to be featured in a new exhibition.

Arts North West Inc: $15,000 for Making Old Markings New, a project to support professional skills development of four Anaiwan and Kamilaroi artists to re-connect with their regional cultural identity. The artists will work with experts at the Australian Museum and the University of New England to explore objects and mark-making traditions from the New England North West. It will include an e-resource and mini-exhibition.

NAISDA Dance College: $12,800 for a presentation of Aboriginal cultural dance performance Speaking Countries in Sydney. The performances will showcase both emerging and established Aboriginal dance practitioners from across NSW.

Slim Dusty Museum Trust Fund (Mid North Coast): $15,000 for Five Women – Connected & Seen, a collaboration between DNAAG artists and Slim Dusty Centre (SDC). Five Aboriginal artists will produce artworks for an exhibition at Nulla Nulla Gallery. They will also reach out to young Aboriginal people from the Mid North Coast and beyond via video and social media.

Yalbillinga Boori Day Care Centre (Cowra): $6,000 for Wagambirra Sharing Stories, an extended project comprising workshops in Cowra and cultural performances to educate and improve cultural dance and performance.

Arts OutWest Inc (Bathurst): $15,000 for Jimmy Little Gathering, a one-day music event at Bathurst including performances by Aboriginal musicians, actors and dancers, storytelling sessions and workshops covering a range of Aboriginal arts and culture. The Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders will present the event with support from the Jimmy Little Foundation, Black Theatre and Bathurst Regional Council.

3rd Space Mob Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation (Wollongbar): $15,000 for Weaving a Way Together, a project in Wollongbar to create traditional and contemporary fibre artworks using Bundjalung weaving techniques and eco-dyeing methods to produce saleable art works. The project will include a performance and ceremonial procession of art works and dance.

Dharriwaa Elders Group Incorporated (Walgett): $14,989 for Celebrate the ‘Gate, which will result in public artwork in the main street of Walgett and the development of wearable designs. The work will draw from the lived experiences of Elders and young people in Walgett alongside notable creative artists with family and connections in the region.

Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre (Deniliquin):  $15,000 for an arts and cultural development project for Aboriginal youth culminating in a performance at Deniliquin. Aboriginal community members will build skills and capacity in the creative industries including film, photography, theatre/performance, writing and music.

Nimbin Community Centre Inc:  $14,480 for the Wai:bal Art and Culture Project including workshops by respected Bundjalung artists and cultural practitioners from across a range of local clan groups. Audiences will share in regional arts and cultural experiences through exhibitions and public performances at the Wai:bal Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

West Darling Arts Inc (Wilcannia): $15,000 for the Wilcannia Stories project to support the community of Wilcannia in documenting their own stories through art forms including dance, music, film and theatre.

Flying Fruit Fly Foundation Ltd (Albury): $15,000 for Bouncing River Kids, a circus skills workshop and performance program for young Aboriginal people in Albury. This established circus program will  focus on telling unique local stories based on life growing up with the Murray River through circus and physical theatre. A focus in 2016 is the development pathway for young indigenous people into the full-time FFFC circus program.

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council: $15,000 to further develop the Aboriginal Cultural Showcase, which has grown from small beginnings to becoming a major part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival (TCMF). The Showcase helps promote the talent of emerging Aboriginal musicians, arts and cultural practitioners alongside icons of the industry via a multifaceted program of performances and professional development opportunities.

Wagga Wagga City Council: $15,000 for Join the Dots, a professional development program Aboriginal artists focusing on enterprise development, artistic skills, exhibitions, performances and skills in areas such as contract negotiations, building an online presence, networking and applying for grants.

Tamworth Regional Council: $10,046 for NAIDOC Week Songlines project to develop a new ephemeral installation Songlines by local Aboriginal artists depicting the living narrative of the Kamilaroi people in Tamworth. as told by local Elders.


To download a copy of the Assessment Meeting Report please click here

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Published: 14 June 2016