Strong investment in youth theatre, literature and First Nations art in latest Australia Council grants

    09 December 2020

    The Australia Council’s latest arts projects grant round delivers $8.4 million to support 217 creative projects and cultural activities for the benefit of all Australians.

    Executive Director, Arts Investment, Alice Nash said the latest investment would fuel creative and cultural production and deliver public value.

    “We are delighted to see so many successful projects engaging young people and their families, particularly as our recent research showed Australians’ top priority for arts investment was ensuring access to the arts and creative experiences for young people.”

    “In addition to delivering numerous public benefits, the range of activity supported through this investment demonstrates the ingenuity of artists and organisations in adapting their work in the context of COVID-19. Creativity has and will continue to play a crucial role in connecting Australians and strengthening our culture and economy,” Ms Nash said.

    The latest round sees strong investment in projects by youth theatre companies including Sydney’s Australian Theatre for Young People and Melbourne’s St Martins Youth Arts Centre. There is also support for companies producing work for young audiences and their families, including Arena Theatre Company (VIC), Barking Gecko (WA) and Slingsby Theatre Company (SA).

    Other projects demonstrate the connective power of music, such as the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, a national platform to showcase and support Australian music online. Another project by Inventi Ensemble will deliver music live online into aged care facilities.

    Julia Jacklin, David Bridie and Arilke Ingram are among the individual musicians to receive grants. Classical composer Natalie Williams will develop a new work exploring the power of creativity to heal communities following devastating bushfires, and Robbie Avenaim will develop specialised concerts for people with disability, their families and carers.

    Investment in literature includes support for Writing NSW to assist writers to navigate the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 that will enable $200,000 in payments to around 300 writers.

    In Western Australia, Westerly Magazine will receive support, along with the Centre for Stories , who will deliver a two-year program to support and develop culturally and linguistically diverse writers in Western Australia, with 100% of this grant also funding payments for writers.

    Investment in individual writers includes support for novelist Emily Maguire, and for children’s book author Davina Bell towards an illustrated novel for children about hope in an uncertain world.

    Among the impactful First Nations work supported through this round, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artists James TylorBetty MufflerMaringka BurtonJudy Watson and Alick Tipoti will be supported to develop work for The National 2021: New Australian Art at the Art Gallery of NSW.

    The latest recipients of Australia Council Fellowships, each worth $80,000, to support creative activity and professional development for a period of up to two years include:

    • Kutcha Edwards (VIC) - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art 
    • Lia Pa’apa’a (QLD) - Community & Cultural Development 
    • Shelley Lasica (VIC) - Dance 
    • Ros Bandt (VIC) - Emerging & Experimental Arts 
    • Gail Jones (NSW) - Literature 
    • Anna Laverty (VIC) - Music 
    • Melissa Gray (VIC) - Theatre   
    • Nicholas Mangan (VIC) - Visual Arts

    A full list of grant recipients can be found on the Australia Council website.


    Media contact

    Brianna Roberts, Media Manager

    Australia Council for the Arts

    Phone: (02) 9215 9030 Mobile: 0498 123 541

    Email: b.roberts@australiacouncil.gov.au

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