Arts Northern Rivers are working with the Northern Rivers Deaf community and multi-artform partners to deliver a major 2020 project, Auslan Creative. The project will deliver a creative development program aimed at exploring models for collaboration and practice development between artists of mixed abilities and cultures.
The project responds to an approach made by Lismore-based Deaf arts worker Sigrid MacDonald, who identified a gap in creative opportunities for the Deaf community in the Northern Rivers region. By bringing together the deaf community and creative partners in workshop-based development opportunities, Auslan Creative will engage both Deaf and hearing participants through music, visual arts, performing arts and screen.
Exploring performing arts, Arts Northern Rivers has engaged dancer and choreographer, Anna Seymour, to deliver Ritual. The movement-based workshop will be held at Lismore City Hall, the home of NORPA on the 18th of April. Ritual is exploring participatory models of working with Deaf and hearing participants through movement and dance.
To connect with the music community, Arts Northern Rivers and the Northern Rivers Conservatorium have commissioned music educator, Karen Kyriakou, to deliver two workshops; Making Music Accessible and Exploring Music Making. The workshops are for both the Northern Rivers Deaf Community and music educators taking place on the 9th and 10th of June at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium.
Joining the program for screen based explorations, Screenworks are delivering a series of film writing workshops for the Northern Rivers Deaf Community. The intimate lab series is working with two local participants on developing a factual-based film project, mentored by award-winning short filmmaker, Karenza Ebejer, who has a talent for finding unique stories and bringing them to screen. During the workshops, the participants will be given the opportunity to explore creative storytelling ideas with the outcome of producing a concept document, script and teaser for a short film.
Working with the Lismore Regional Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will deliver two workshops for the Visual Arts program. On the 8th and 9th of May, the Access and Deaf Awareness professional development session will be delivered by MCA artist educators, Cara MacLeod, Angie Goto and Sue Wright, focusing on the development of accessible programming for staff from the regional gallery network of the Northern Rivers. The Auslan Tour will be delivered by Sue Wright and Angie Goto giving deaf adults and their families opportunities to engage with artworks in the Lismore Regional Gallery and experience contemporary practices in an art-making session in the studio.
Arts Northern Rivers has received funding to deliver the multi-arts project through the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund and by the NSW Government through Create NSW. Arts Northern Rivers Executive Director, Peter Wood, said;
“Arts Northern Rivers is thrilled with this funding outcome and looking forward to delivering an innovative skills and professional development opportunity for the Deaf and non-Deaf communities in the Northern Rivers. The project will feature creative collaborations with significant arts and cultural partners as well as the wider Deaf community in the Northern Rivers region – who will all contribute to the success of this important project ”
The project will culminate with a forum that will interrogate the outcomes of the creative development program. These outcomes will inform further funding applications aiming to present a large-scale multi-arts festival event to take place in Lismore in 2021. The event will aim to expand on the multi-arts workshops delivered through Auslan Creative project and will include creative development participants, creative leaders and emerging leaders for the Deaf community.
Image: Anna Seymour ‘Collisions – The Delta Project’. Photograph by Pippa Samaya.