Blacktown City Creative Arts Fund awards

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A street mural painted by school children, intimate musical performances, a play confronting domestic violence, creative art sessions for disadvantaged people with a disability and Bollywood dance workshops, are just some of the projects to benefit from $52,000 in grants from the Blacktown City Council 2020 Creative Arts Fund.

In announcing the 23 grants of up to $3,000 to local artists and community groups, Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “The Creative Arts Fund is a wonderful, inclusive local initiative that supports opportunities for artists and creatives in our City.

“Blacktown City Council has a proud history of investing in the development of the arts in our city that celebrate our rich cultural heritage.

“The applications this year were of extremely high calibre, and the projects range from celebrating diversity to addressing prominent social issues,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Joy Adan from Colebee, will use the funding to design and publish a picture book that features brush-lettered words from diverse cultural backgrounds, that can’t easily be translated.

Baptist Care will co-ordinate Willmot residents, students and artists, in creating a wall mural to revitalise Willmot Shopping Village.

“Many of the projects discuss and engage with prominent issues confronting our community,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

The Indian Crisis and Support Agency will produce a script for a short play confronting domestic and family violence.

Blacktown City’s 2019 Woman of the Year, Maryam Zahid, will work alongside Afghan women and young girls to produce a short film capturing a journey of mental health.

“Blacktown is a hub for many multicultural artists and it is important we celebrate our multinational identity,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

George Tillianakis from Blacktown will develop his skills in producing electronic music by being mentored by industry leader Don Bartley and Mount Druitt’s Street University will support a series of acoustic music performances.

“It is a fantastic way for artists to gain professional development and to work collaboratively with other local community organisations,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

“Culture and the arts have a profound role in spotlighting social issues and strengthening community outreach.

“I am proud that this is the fifth year that Council has run the Creative Arts Fund program and I congratulate the 23 organisations and individuals on their awards and look forward to enjoying the many projects that will be created”.

Manager Arts and Cultural Development, Alicia Talbot said, “Blacktown City is an amazing place, full of inspiration. The Creative Arts Fund is one of the many programs that Council delivers to champion our artists, cultural workers and creative communities. Blacktown Arts is thrilled to support creativity throughout the city with these grants’ programs”.

Grants of up to $3,000 have been awarded to these community organisations:

Baptist Care (Mt Druitt/Willmot) – Baptist Care will co-ordinate the opportunity for Willmot residents, Willmot Public School students and established artists, to co-design and deliver a wall mural to support the revitalisation of the dilapidated Willmot Shopping Village.

Bollywood (Central Blacktown) – Bollywood will be running a series of school holiday workshops for local children aged between 5 and 14 years, to develop skills in cultural dancing, singing and acting.

Indian Crisis and Support Agency (Glendenning) – The Indian (Sub-Cont) Crisis and Support Agency, with the support from local established writers, will produce a script for a short play confronting domestic and family violence.

Street University Mount Druitt (Mount Druitt) – Street University Mount Druitt will host a series of intimate acoustic performances based in Street University, showcasing emerging young musicians from the local Blacktown area.

The Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD) (Minchinbury) – The Australian Foundation for Disability will provide creative art sessions for disadvantaged people with a disability, at AFFORD’s Blacktown community participation day program.

Women’s Justice Network (Blacktown) – The Women’s Justice Network will run an after-school program for ‘at-risk’ young women, aged between 14 and 25 years old. The program will help young women explore their creativity, and develop resilience and self-esteem.

Grants of up to $2,000 have been awarded to individuals and artist groups:

Abdullah Syed (Mount Druitt) – Abdullah, with the assistance of a weaving community expert, will create woven rugs with found recycled and shredded decommissioned banknotes.

Casey Sessions (Acacia Gardens) – Casey will create four portraits of the Australian bush, capturing themes of regeneration and growth in one’s own reminiscence.

Clarissa Mei (Plumpton) – Clarissa will seek production support for the release of 3 original music singles and accompanying videos.

Dulce Aguilar (Kellyville Ridge) – Dulce will seek post production support for a short comedy movie filmed in Western Sydney discussing the topic of multicultural acceptance.

Elisa Cristallo (Seven Hills) – Elisa will create an environmentally themed short film about plastic pollution called, The Purple Turtle.

Fozia Zahid (Blacktown) – Fozia will create a series of miniature paintings portraying Blacktown City street life.

George Tillianakis (Blacktown) – George will seek the mentorship of industry professional, Don Bartley, to undergo professional development in the production of new electronic music.

Herbert Leota (Seven Hills) – Herbert will produce a pilot episode for a crime-drama web-series based in Western Sydney.

Joy Adan (Colebee) – Joy will design and publish a picture book featuring brush-lettered words from diverse cultural backgrounds, that cannot easily be translated into the English language.

Kathryn Yuen (Kings Park) – Kathryn will produce paintings and digital artworks focused on trauma, healing and identity, through the topics of the Covid-19 Pandemic, #MeToo Movement and the prevalence of domestic violence.

Matthew Moriarty (Kings Park) – Matthew will write and publish a children’s book based on Australian animals and characters, set within a suburban backyard.

Maryam Zahid (Blacktown) – Maryam will work alongside women and young girls from the Afghan community to produce a short film capturing the journey of mental health.

Mike Moore (Blacktown) – Mike will undergo professional development in exploring the transfer of images onto glass plates and colouring them with glass enamels.

Sabina Giado (Blacktown) – Sabina will work on audience development for a web series called, Bad Prawns: A Love Story.

Sam K / Sam Absurd (Seven Hills) – Sam and Sam will create large scale mural portraits of Blacktown community members from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.

Wayne Tunks (Blacktown) – Wayne will produce a feature film adaption of the critically acclaimed stage play called, Bitch.

Zahid Ahmed (Blacktown) – Zahid will experiment with nature’s symmetric balance and cell multiplication by using mirror images of objects around us via visual arts.

Photo: Felicity Burke, Emma Louise and Wayne Tunks in the theatre production of Bitch 2017. The cast will be returning for the film adaption of Bitch. Photograph by Robert Miniter.

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