Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Several groups and local creatives have received a boost as recipients of grants through the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative Recovery – Small Grants program.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced grants totalling $69,142 to be shared amongst North East organisations and creative individuals to showcase their talents, rebuild their business and run workshops following the impacts of the 2019-20 summer bushfires.
Arts Yackandandah Inc will receive $5000 to record monologues and a play on Indigo FM Radio, designed to engage the Yackandandah and Indigo Shire audience. The project will include writing workshops and will involve a local writers’ group, theatre company and dramaturg. A performance entitled Comings and Goings-Arrivals and Departures from Yackandandah will take place in 2021.
Beechworth Primary School will receive $5,000 to undertake a creative arts project with a First Peoples artist. Students will research local natural environments and learn more about the animals and plants in their local area. This knowledge will become the shared community understandings and will be transformed into a collection of mural storyboards.
Bethanga Primary School are set to receive $5,000 to employ an Artist in Residence who will, over several weeks and sessions, workshop with students and design a mural that depicts connections and recovery.
The BMF Rock School Inc will receive $5,000 to re-engage and re-invigorate the Rock School Beechworth program by introducing previous participants to the recording process using their own classroom at the Old Beechworth Gaol as a studio.
Beechworth Artist Chris Henderson will receive $5,000 to create two murals to celebrate the importance of local flora and fauna. The murals will also support his aim to inspire the next generation of artists by building a bigger local public art scene.
Mansfield Photographer Emma McPherson‘s will receive $1,650 to replace camera equipment that was damaged by fire retardant while changing lenses during the 2020 bushfires.
The Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA), Wangaratta will receive $5,000 to engage three local artists to create new works and deliver workshops inspired by the Mullinmur Billabong, a regenerated area beside the Ovens (Torryong) River in Wangaratta. Workshops will be delivered as part of Elemental, the 2021 Across the Arts Forum presented by GANEAA.
Tallangatta writer Ian Trevaskis will receive $5,000 to undertake professional development through Writers Victoria on-line and face-to-face workshops.
Janet Leith Director of the Art Gallery on Ovens Wangaratta is set to receive $4,600 to facilitate emerging artist Sara Cope. Sara will be supported to develop her creative practice as a Resident Artist through a year-long Young Artist Mentorship Program, following the impact of bushfires and the completion of her Year 12 studies.
Beechworth Artist Julianne Piko will receive $5,000 to reinstate her studio practice with explorations into new processes and sustainable materials. It enables Julianne to commit time and energy to undertake classes and seek mentorship.
Kate O’Toole, from Beechworth will receive $1,800 to resume Life Drawing classes that have been disrupted this year. The classes are for people of all abilities to participate. To make the class accessible for everyone, all materials are provided, and the cost is kept minimal.
Kellie Wolfson from Cudgewa will receive $5,000 to enable the replacement of damaged equipment and provide an opportunity to progress Kellie Wolfson’s photography ambitions.
Chiltern artist Lisa Bishop is set to receive $5,000 to take on a lease in the space next to her own studio and art store, to set up an artist’s gallery for local creatives to exhibit and sell their work. The gallery will become a central place for creatives to connect and gather, increasing social cohesion.
Bethanga Artist Marley Dawson will receive $5,000 to take preparatory steps to ensure the sustainability, viability and safety of his studio and practice within a fire-prone area.
Wandiligong Artist Mat Vaughan will receive $5,000 to create new artworks based on the mountain bike trails surrounding his home near Bright.
Textile artist Nicole Oakes from Kergunyah will receive $1,092 to expand her practice which is focused is on knitted garments, accessories and homeware pieces through her business Nic Wilde Textile Design. The funding will help her purchase computer aided knitting design software.
Inspired by a program launched after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires that helped communities to reflect, rebuild and recover, The Creative Recovery – Small Grants program was created to support artists and creative organisations in bushfire affected areas.
Last year, 19 projects across the Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong and Wangaratta communities shared in $90,000 in support through the first rounds of the program. The latest and final round will distribute more than $140,000 to 31 projects.
Grants have gone toward supporting artists to replace tools and equipment that were lost or damaged in the fires, support for professional development activities and grants to help local creative businesses launch projects that will draw visitors to the region.
The Creative Recovery initiative is part of the Victorian and Commonwealth Government’s $86 million Community Recovery Package for bushfire-affected communities announced in January 2020.
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“Our communities have always had a strong creative scene and creative events and activities have an important role to play in long term recovery and reactivation after the events of 2020.”
“Congratulations to all these wonderful recipients and thank you for the contribution you make to the vibrancy of our region.”