Council grants to foster shire’s reputation as creative hotspot

'Dutch Ruffs in Paper' - Kim Wiebenga, Melbourne Fashion Week Space Cube Exhibitor by Invitation 2020.jpg

Submissions for the Surf Coast Shire Council Artist and Creatives Grants: DEVELOP, are set to open and aim to support creatives from all artistic disciplines to explore new directions, innovative ideas and bold concepts.

Surf Coast Shire Councillor Libby Stapleton said the 2023 funding placed more emphasis on supporting contemplative process and planning to advance artists’ practice, while helping to push their careers to the next level.

“The Surf Coast Shire is considered Australia’s fourth largest regional creative hotspot and we recognise that it’s a significant economic driver for us,” Cr Stapleton said.

“We understand that thriving depends on the right conditions and the thing that often gets in the way of making great art is artists not having enough money – or time.”

Seed funding of up to $3,000 for individual artists and $5,000 for collectives is available and First Nations artists and artists from diverse or marginalised groups such as LGBTQIA+ and CALD groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

A series of free, online and in-person grant workshops will be held in January to assist artists and creatives to apply.

“We now have a much better understanding of our creative economy and how to foster it,” Cr Stapleton said. “Acclaimed Aireys Inlet novelist Gregory Day used a Council seed grant to work on his seventh novel.

“Lorne textile artist Kim Wiebenga chose to explore a dying technique for her Elizabethan collars with seed money, and Winchelsea’s Louise Hall used the opportunity to create a print making workshop studio for people in her community and beyond.

“In all of these cases, this funding has helped support the gestation period that helps bring the best creative ideas to life.

“Now is the time to start thinking about making a submission. We know there are some really fabulous, well-known artists living here in the shire, as well as equally talented, yet largely undiscovered artists here too.

“I encourage all artists to take the first step in this grant process. Be bold, be brave and make that submission in February. We can’t wait to discover you.”

Applications for the 2023 Artists and Creative Grants: DEVELOP will open on Wednesday 1 February and close at 5PM on Tuesday 28 February.

Successful recipients will be announced in late March.

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