Artists brings ideas to life thanks to council grants totalling almost $1m

Artists brings ideas to life thanks to council grants totalling almost $1m
Brendan Rees

The City of Melbourne has awarded more than $950,000 to a diverse range of artists, as part of the latest round of its annual arts grants program.

Supporting 102 projects and 1000 creative jobs, the 2024 program will allow artists to test new ideas and promote their talents through grants of up to $20,000.

The council’s Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Cr Jamal Hakim said the grants would bolster the city’s creativity with 70 per cent of projects involving artists from migrant and multicultural communities.”

“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,” he said.

Among the 2023 funding recipients is the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival, which will celebrate the diverse expressions and talents of First Nations writers.

Blak and Bright director Jane Harrison thanked the council’s generous support, saying the festival from March 14 to 17 would showcase the “power of First Nation voices”.

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

Other recipients include Dayma by Bukjeh – a series of interactive and artistic engagements during Ramadan to connect generations, honour traditions and promote awareness about food waste.

Also awarded grants are Multiple Bad Things by Back to Back Theatre; Queerstories: QueerClassic by Coady Green; Myth by Jo Lloyd in collaboration with Lee Serle; Allara Briggs-Patterson x MCO by Melbourne Chamber Orchestra; and The Pink Bans by Sam Wallman, a comic book and exhibition about the strikes and work stoppages that occurred in Melbourne during the 1970s.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp it was exciting to see an incredible array of creative visions come to life, building on Melbourne’s renowned arts scene.

“Creativity has sculpted our city and cements our status as Australia’s cultural capital,” she said, noting last year’s creative sector injected $7.54 billion into the local economy.

“We especially welcome a raft of new talent – almost 40 per cent of our recipients being first-time applicants.” •


Caption: The Blak and Bright First Nations Literary Festival will be held in March next year. Photos: Tiffany Garvie.

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