Artist Stories

Too much lip book cover

Engaging Australians with books and First Nations writing

17 December 2019

Australians enjoy reading and would like to do it more – reading books ranks higher than browsing the internet and watching television as the leisure activity Australians enjoy the most. Seven in ten think Australian books help us understand the country in which we live, and there is strong interest in books and writing about First Nations Australia. Reading literary fiction is proven to improve empathy and the vast majority of Australians believe books have a value that’s greater than their monetary cost.


Bury yourself in a book this summer

17 December 2019

Australia Council Arts Practice Director for Literature, Wenona Byrne has your summer reading list sorted. Books are portable; they can be read at the beach, on a blow-up flamingo in the pool or to your dog.

State Opera South Australia’s Carmen in Victoria Square. Credit: Soda Street Productions.

Arts a bigger tourism drawcard than wineries, casinos or sport

17 December 2019

In November 2018, the Australia Council published new research showing the arts are increasingly on the itinerary for visitors to Australia. International Arts Tourism: Connecting cultures highlights the growing potential for the arts to drive and support tourism activity.

Poetry in First Languages on Buses. Image courtesy of Red Room Poetry.

Access, equality, social impact – infusing daily life with poetry

17 December 2019

Red Room Poetry creates poetic projects and learning programs in collaboration with poets, schools and communities for positive social impact.  Their mission is to make poetry accessible to all, especially those who face the greatest barriers to creative opportunities. Moving beyond words on a page, their work immerses young people and the public in poetry in interesting and surprising ways. 

Baden Pailthorpe, Clanger (longitude, latitude, decibels), [installation view] 2018. HD video, 4.1 channel surround sound. 06.30 mins. Credit: Jessica Maurer.

Cross industry partnership driving innovation and future success.

17 December 2019

For the past 30 years the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) has been a catalyst for experimentation and innovation across art, science and technology. ANAT forges relationships with industry, academia, community and government to broker opportunities for artists. ANAT is supported through Four Year Funding (2017–20).

Complexity of Belonging, Chunky Move. Credit: Jeff Busby.

Creating opportunities for Australian dance in Europe

17 December 2019

Through the arts, Australian stories and perspectives are shared with the world, growing our global connections and presence. December Dance is a biennial international platform for showcasing dance works to European presenters. The 12th edition of December Dance was held in Bruges, Belgium in December 2018 and focused on the best of the dance scene from Australia and New Zealand. Twelve Australian artists and companies presented in the two-week program with most performances selling out to an enthusiastic local and international audience. 

ODDLANDS, a film by Back to Back Theatre & Matchbox Pictures. Credit: Tao Weis

Arts to film – questioning assumptions through diversity on screen

17 December 2019

What began as a disability workshop in the late 80s has become one of our most successful and ground breaking theatre companies. An ensemble of actors identifying as having intellectual disabilities, Geelong-based Back to Back Theatre have made a body of work that questions the assumptions of what is possible in theatre, but also the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others. The company has toured the world – 83 cities in 27 countries – winning a plethora of awards along the way. 

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Virtual Reality Project 2018.

Virtual experiences and real world connections

17 December 2019

Digital technology is transforming the nature of arts engagement, enabling more Australians to experience the arts in increasingly interconnected ways – growing rather than diminishing arts audiences.

Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY, 2019 (production still) three-channel video installation in architectural amphitheater. HD video projections, colour, six-channel mono sound, 25 mins, dimensions variable. © Photography: Josh Raymond.

Investing in the arts to increase Australia’s soft power

17 December 2019

In October 2018, the Australia Council made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Soft Power Review. It argued that greater investment in arts and culture could increase our soft power capabilities and support the goals of the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Pretty Beach [detail] at the Museum of Contemporary Art for The National, 2019.

Universal emotions across cultures

17 December 2019

By their very essence the arts help us understand and live with our fellow citizens, bridging social divisions by generating empathy, understanding and human connection. Two in three Australians believe the arts help us understand other people and cultures and allow us to connect to others.

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