Stories of migration, child slavery and multiculturalism from the Cairns community will be brought to life via music, theatre, screen and literature in projects funded by the Cairns Regional Arts Development Fund Program.
For the first time, Cairns Regional Council has awarded a major ‘City of the Arts Hero Project’ grant of $25,000 in 2020, which went to Jute Theatre for a proposal to celebrate the Cairns region’s Italian legacy in a theatre and music project called La Bella Figura.
This large-scale new theatrical work will be developed in consultation with the Cairns Italian community and involves music, photography, and a creative team made up of some of most highly respected professionals in our region.
The project is also supported by the Queensland Music Festival and will be part of their program in 2021.
Eight arts projects in the Cairns region will also share in $62,078 in funding under Major Round Two of the RADF 2019/20 grants, which includes the creation of an interactive Kid’s Audio Trail by Cairns Museum and a series of performing arts workshops.
Amber Grossman and Hayley Gillespie will deliver the Young Creatives Mentorship Program – a series of performing arts skills development workshops culminating in a multi-media performance for six selected students at Bulmba-ja arts centre in late 2020.
Mayor Bob Manning said the latest round of funding would assist a broad range of creative projects ranging from performing arts, short film and multi-media projects, to the creation of literature and the exhibition of a significant collection.
“Hundreds of local projects have been assisted over the years by RADF grants, which deliver positive outcomes for communities across the region,” Cr Manning said.
“In 2020 lots of people have realised just how important the arts are in their lives.
“When COVID-19 shut down the country, many of us turned to the television, music and books. The cancellation of festivals, events and performances was a blow for artists and the community.
“Cairns has great depth of talent in our artistic and creative community. These successful RADF projects represent a chance for our creative community to share their ideas, works and skills again.”
The latest round of funding will deliver a range of creative opportunities and events to the community, including an exhibition showcasing the works and migration stories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists who worked for Cairns-based souvenir company Reef Productions.
The grants will also assist the Cairns and District Family History Society with their project Herstory, History – the research and writing of 40 engaging short stories based around the lives of past pioneers of the Cairns Region.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government is proud to continue its RADF partnership with local governments with an investment of $2.08 million, through Arts Queensland, for the 2019-20 fund.
“This investment will support the delivery of hundreds of arts experiences and professional development opportunities across the state,” Ms Enoch said.
“Projects funded through RADF provide pathways for learning, contribute to the creation of jobs, foster creativity and boost cultural tourism.”