Writers, singers and performers share in $85,000 of arts funding

The Cairns Tropical Writers Festival has been awarded a $25,000 City of the Arts Hero grant to support its August 2021 event and grow its First Nations, youth and digital program streams.

The festival, to be held from 13-15 August, aims to promote Cairns as a key centre for writing and presenting stories, bringing together regional and national writers, readers, storytellers and writing industry professionals for a three-day cultural event to share ideas, network and explore writing genres.

The latest round of Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grants will deliver a range of creative opportunities and events to the community, including a series of workshops by Gondwana Choirs that will teach Cairns’ children and young people a series of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs and dances.

The Gondwana Choirs Cairns Sings! initiative is one of eight arts projects in the Cairns region that will share in $60,919 in funding under Major Round Two of the RADF 2020/21 grants. Delivered as a partnership between Arts Queensland (State Government) and Cairns Regional Council, RADF promotes the role and value of arts, culture and heritage in the community as drivers of diversity and inclusiveness.

Mayor Bob Manning said the latest round of funding will assist a broad array of creative projects ranging from performing arts, film and studio recording projects.

“Hundreds of local projects have over the years been assisted by RADF grants, which deliver positive outcomes for communities across the region,” Cr Manning said.

“These successful projects represent a chance for people to engage with the vibrancy and depth of our arts community.”

The Historical Society Cairns North Queensland Inc. (Cairns Museum) will work with Box Jelly Theatre to stage a reimagined interpretation of the classic Australian play “Summer of the Seventeenth Doll” by Ray Lawler using Museum spaces as settings. The concept that may be further developed for Cairns Festival program consideration in 2022, will explore themes of continuity, change and disruption.

The grants will also assist four talented local musicians (Amber Farnan, Clare Kuolga Meere, Georgia Byrne and Evan Le Comte) with their individual projects that involve the professional recording of a range of songs and the production of music videos.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said that the long standing RADF program would help to boost Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, supporting artists and arts workers with employment opportunities through $4.2 million in funding for regional cultural projects.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing $2.08 million in RADF for 2020-21 and an additional $2.13 million will be contributed by 59 councils across Queensland,” Minister Enoch said.

“Each year RADF showcases the extraordinary innovation of the arts and cultural sector in regional communities, delivers rich arts experiences and provides important professional opportunities for artists and arts workers.”

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