The Hon. Thomas George MP today announced a Creative Koori grant of $60,098 from NSW Government’s Arts and Cultural Development Program will be awarded to NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts) to deliver an Emerging Indigenous Artists Development Program in collaboration with NAISDA (National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association) and ACPA (Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts). The funding supports projects that are central to our cultural life to grow a thriving, connected arts and cultural sector with, and for, the people of NSW.
The Emerging Indigenous Artists Development Program will deliver workshops for emerging Indigenous artists exploring artistic practice, professional development, exploration of ideas for new works and building networks. The Creative Koori grant will also enable NORPA to employ an Associate Artist for a four-week residency to help them develop new work at NORPA utilising NORPA’s studio, production equipment and access to NORPA’s expertise in making new Australian work.
Bradley Chatfield, Head of Dance at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts (ACPA) in Brisbane said, “The Emerging Indigenous Artists Development Program will provide a career pathway where many graduate students who return home and emerging indigenous artists often find limited opportunities gaining experience and employment. The NORPA program will provide essential skills, practical experience and confidence for emerging artists to engage the wider sector as they enter the professional arena.”
National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association CEO, Kim Walker, said, “It is programs such as these that gives our graduates and emerging cultural leaders of the future opportunities to use the skills learnt through NAISDA, ACPA and NORPA to expand their creative practice and forge relationships for future creative work.”
Patrick Healey, NORPA General Manager said: “The announcement by Mr George confirms the Minister for Arts, Don Harwin, and the State government’s commitment to the arts in regional NSW.
“The idea for this program stems from the project ‘Horses Mouth’ a collaboration between NORPA and Beyond Empathy. While that project is very successful it has a focus on process and community. What became clear is that there was a big gap in opportunities for emerging Aboriginal artists to make new work, hone and develop their art-form and ﬁnd pathways to employment in the sector.”
“This is a great opportunity to align all of the relationships NORPA has been building including with Beyond Empathy, Critical Path, ACPA and NAISDA,” said NORPA Associate Artistic Director Kirk Page “This is also a great opportunity for NORPA’s existing Associate Artists to engage with and lead sessions with these emerging Indigenous artists.”