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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

$3.6 million boost for community arts projects with heart

Media release
31 March 2009
PG 238

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Federal Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett, today announced funding of more than $3.6 million for 15 major community arts initiatives across the country.

"I’m delighted to announce the Government’s increased support for community arts projects which will provide greater opportunities for Australians to participate in cultural activities in the places where they live," Mr Garrett said.

This new funding is part of the Government’s Creative Communities election commitment of $10 million over four years and was announced during the Ten Days on the Island festival in Tasmania where the winner of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts group award, Big hART, was rehearsing its latest production.

"Big hART will receive $450,000 to present a new work, Nyunyu Ngali, at the Adelaide Festival and to enhance a number of their ongoing community-generated arts projects. This is a real boost for the crew at Big hART, who have a proven track record in the delivery of effective community cultural development programs."

Big hART’s other projects include Drive - a documentary with young men at risk to help prevent dangerous driving and suicide; Lucky - an art exhibition involving disadvantaged teenage mothers; This Is Living - a large-scale production examining intergenerational issues currently performing at the Ten Days on the Island festival; and, Gold - a new touring music theatre work created in small farming communities.

"Investing in these critical and innovative projects enriches the local community and makes a significant difference to the lives of a great deal of people, particularly in regional and remote Australia," Mr Garrett said.

"I warmly congratulate the artists, arts organisations and local communities involved in these projects, and acknowledge the assistance of the many private and government partners who make these projects happen."

The Australian Government’s Creative Communities Partnerships initiative is a four-year $10 million program to support excellence in community arts and cultural development. The initiative is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Other successful projects include The Song Room ($600,000 over three years), Victorian Arts Centre ($290,000 over two years), Queensland Music Festival ($600,000 over three years), Community Arts network of WA ($300,000 over two years), Wongutha Aboriginal Corporation ($450,000 over three years), Darwin Community Arts ($180,000 over two years).

Commonwealth of Australia