Arts funding strengthens First Nations stories and culture

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is providing more than $207,000 to help fund arts and cultural projects in nine First Nations communities.

In announcing the latest round of funding for the Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund (IRADF) 2020-2021, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said funded projects were helping to share stories and culture through various arts forms, including visual arts, music and dance.

“These nine projects will make a significant contribution in preserving and sharing the knowledge and cultures of Traditional Owners in Queensland and support employment opportunities for First Nations artists and arts workers,” Minister Enoch said.

“Supporting jobs is a key priority as we deliver our plan for economic recovery, and these projects are ensuring vibrant arts and cultural experiences, which are vital in truth-telling of our nation’s history, are shared in all areas of Queensland.”

Some funded projects include Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council’s Doomadgee’s Deadly Sounds program, which is bringing together local youth to learn and play modern and traditional cultural musical instruments, and encourage people to compose their own music.

Legacies Living On, a large-scale exhibition of collaborative paintings created by local Lardil and Kaidildt artists, will honour the legacies of Mornington Island artists Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey and Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, and will be presented by NorthSite Contemporary Arts at Bulmba-ja in Cairns to coincide with Cairns Indigenous Art Fair later this year.

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council will deliver From the Ground Up to help pass on traditional pottery practices and showcase the evolution of Yarrabah Pottery from the early 1970s to now.

Minister Enoch said funding would also support the local Palm Island and Pormpuraaw communities’ participation in key annual Indigenous events.

“Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council will lead NAIDOC Week and Leadership Group Workshops during NAIDOC Week 2021, to enable knowledge exchange between community elders and younger generations, while Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council will support a local group of more than 30 traditional dancers and singers to attend the Laura Quinkan Dance Festival in July 2021.”

John Armstrong, Art Centre Manager at Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation, said the IRADF funding would be an important professional development opportunity for the artists involved.

“For artists working in very remote art centres it’s often difficult for them to see their works when they are presented in exhibitions,” Mr Armstrong said.

“The eight artists in this major exhibition at NorthSite will be able to engage with viewers and other artists. These conversations will be a really important professional development opportunity.

“This will add to their understanding of the arts sector and their important place within it as visual storytellers who are making marvellous contemporary artworks grounded in age old Traditions.”

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