Geelong Arts Centre announce $16,000 in grant funding for local creatives

Geelong Arts Centre announce $16,000 in grant funding for local creatives

Words by Talia Rinaldo

For the brave, bold and creative.

While the future of the arts remains in a state of limbo as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the Geelong Arts Centre has today announced a package of grants through its Creative Engine program to benefit artists and creatives working in the G21 region, ensuring they stay positive and remain active in their creative endeavours.

Equating in $16,000 in financial grants and in-kind occupancies within the centres landmark Ryrie Street building, the eight available grant packages will directly benefit individuals and organisations who demonstrate the desire and ability to drive bold and exciting contemporary arts practice and performance.

The available packages include two of each of the following:

This package is for projects that need support in transitioning from creative development to preparation for presentation. A successful Ignition offer will include cash contribution of up to $5,000, access to performance and rehearsal studio spaces, access to co-working and meeting spaces, mentoring opportunities with leading independent practitioners, marketing support and Front of House support.

Live and Local
Thriving arts communities are the heartbeat of our cities so the Arts Centre wants to partner with artists to present live-streamed content to new audiences. A successful Live and Local offer will include Cash contribution of up to $2,000, access to performance and rehearsal studio spaces, access to co-working and meeting spaces, access to broadcast infrastructure and marketing and technical support for one livestream performance.

Jump Start
The Geelong Arts Centre is offering once off cash grants plus more for innovative concepts that respond to our changed environment. A successful Jump Start offer will include cash contribution up to $1,000, access to performance and rehearsal studio spaces and access to co-working and meeting spaces.

Place to Make
The Place to Make initiative is designed to offer a testing ground for creatives and companies to sample and refine ideas. A successful Place to Make offer will include access to performance and rehearsal studio spaces and access to co-working floor and meeting spaces.

Playing a pivotal role in the continuation of the arts in uncertain times, the Geelong Art Centre’s Creative Engine (a co-working space and eponymous arts development program) was introduced in October last year with a primary directive to support individuals and artistic collectives and build sustainable arts practices within regional Victoria.

In addition to value-in-kind occupancies and grants funding, Creative Engine provides access to workshops, masterclasses, industry networking and creative bootcamps for the creative community of Geelong.

“Local creatives are the heartbeat if our arts centre. Our aim for these grants is to assist a diverse range of artists and creatives to build sustainable and thriving practice right here in regional Victoria,” says Geelong Arts Centre CEO Joel McGuinness.

“We’re looking to the future and for works that demonstrate a connection to the region, are innovative by design and thoughtfully participate in the national arts conversation.”

Creative Engine will offer two grant and support opportunity rounds per year to invest in emerging works. The initiative supports Geelong Art Centre’s strategic vision to become ‘The Creative Heart of Geelong’.

Already the bold development initiative to grow the region’s creative capability has supported a number of new works by local producers including playwright Ross Mueller, theatre makers Essential Theatre, and in particular, independent project-based company Blink Dance Theatre who have been able to pursue their latest creative endeavour, Memory House.

Originally planned to be a large-scale contemporary dance piece alongside a number of supporting projects like workshops and an artist forum, the pandemic has seen the company adapt their performance piece into a short dance theatre film exploring the physicality of memory, the body as home and the Jungian archetype of the house as a metaphor for self.

With the support of Geelong Arts Centre, alongside the City of Greater Geelong and Geelong Connected Communities, the project will be filmed locally onsite at the Geelong Arts Centre and is due to be completed in October, pending on the constant shifting environment.

“Through the grants, the Geelong Arts Centre are offering support on a number of levels on both in a producing capacity and also in terms of access to their resources, equipment and spaces,” explains Blink Dance Theatre founding Artistic Director, Lyndel Quick.

“They’re offering support, they’re offering connections, they’re offering a platform to connect to local artists, and they’re giving us opportunities to take some creative risks as well; to push ourselves in a supportive capacity.”

Alongside the large amount of support from the Geelong Arts Centre, Quick explains that artists benefit from audience development, increasing the network and the potential audience size for creative and small arts organisation, alongside their own artistic development and growth.

“At the moment there’s a real focus on acquisition of new skills and competency, and having that connection with Geelong Arts Centre can really help local artists understand and connect further with the public and their needs,” she says.

“Having this type of support in such an uncertain time, it means that you’re not working by yourself in isolation, you’re working on it with a partnership which helps to connect groups, and to form stronger the networks with practitioners from different disciplines.

“Working in the creative industry can be very hard work and even greater right now, with COVID-19 and I think to sustain your output as an artist or small arts organisation, you really need collaboration,” Quick adds.

“You need ongoing funding, support and community engagement and there’s opportunities out there. Just go for it, and do not wait for the right time to be the best that you can be.”

We have to agree with Quick, just go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Grant applications will open 9am Monday August 7 and will close at 5pm on Sunday August 30.

Applications must demonstrate the ability to meet the program’s three selection criteria – connection, innovation and thoughtfulness – to be successful. The selected successful projects will be notified on Friday September 11.

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