Sunday, February 25, 2024

Melbourne grants bolster city’s creativity

City of Melbourne Council has announced its latest round of grants for the creative sector, which it says will support 1,000 jobs across 102 projects.  

The Annual Arts Grants program allocates more than $950,000 to projects taking place in 2024, for artists to test new ideas and promote their talents through grants of up to $20,000. 

Creative Melbourne portfolio lead, Councillor Jamal Hakim said traders will also benefit from the program, as more than 360,000 patrons come into the city to explore the range of performances, exhibitions and festivals funded by the program. 

“We’re shining a spotlight on artists from all backgrounds and at all stages of their career, with 70% of projects involving artists from migrant and multicultural communities,” said Cr Hakim.    

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy among the list of fantastic projects and we expect they will draw more than 360,000 people into the city – supporting our artists and local traders.”  

The 2024 Annual Arts Grants recipients include:   

  • Blak and Bright First Nations Literary Festival – a four-day showcase celebrating the diverse expressions and talents of First Nations writers 
  • Dayma by Bukjeh – a series of interactive and artistic engagements during Ramadan to connect generations, honour traditions and promote awareness about food waste 
  • Multiple Bad Things by Back to Back Theatre – the Melbourne premiere of a new work in which three people are forced together during a workplace witching hour 
  • Queerstories: QueerClassic by Coady Green – an adaptation by LGBTQI+ composers of Maeve Marsden’s national queer storytelling project, performed by Divisi Chamber Singers and curated by pianist Coady Green 
  • Myth by Jo Lloyd in collaboration with Lee Serle – a collision of two unique choreographers inspired by the theory of The Ghost in the Machine 
  • Allara Briggs-Patterson x MCO by Melbourne Chamber Orchestra – a collaborative musical performance with the emerging Yorta Yorta singer-songwriter  
  • The Pink Bans by Sam Wallman – a comic book and exhibition about the strikes and work stoppages that occurred in Melbourne during the 1970s 

“Creativity has sculpted our city and cements our status as Australia’s cultural capital, a title that continues to drive visitation and investment year-round,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp. 

“We know our creative sector contributes more than just colour and entertainment – in the last financial year it injected $7.54 billion into our local economy. The Annual Arts Grants program alone for 2024 will support more than 1,000 creative jobs. 

“We’re excited to see the incredible array of creative visions come to life, building on Melbourne’s renowned arts scene. We especially welcome a raft of new talent – almost 40 per cent of our recipients being first-time applicants.”   

Blak and Bright director, Jane Harrison said the funding would see the First Nations literary festival (14 – 17 March 2024) showcase the “power of First Nations voices, celebrating their stories and wisdom”.

“Programming mostly free events open to all audiences, Blak & Bright aims to activate the city and diversify the literary landscape,” she said.  

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