Auslan Creative is a major project working with the Northern Rivers Deaf community and multi-artform partners. The project will deliver a creative development program aimed at exploring models for collaboration and practice development between artists of mixed abilities and cultures.
Over four days in September 2021 Auslan Creative will present workshops, exhibitions and events engaging both Deaf and hearing participants.
Travelling from Perth to Lismore to join the program is Queerlectro Pop group, Alter Boy. This dance band queerifies religious iconography in a theatrical whirl of performance art, choreography and costume. Three of its members are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and all songs are performed in Auslan. Expect a sex-positive, queer euphoric slant on lobotomies, divorcing Jesus, dressing gay, death anxiety, penis envy and more. Tickets for the all ages event at the Lismore City bowls club from 7-11pm on Saturday the 25th are now available online.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Artist Educators Angie Goto and Cara MacLeod will lead a professional learning program focusing on the development of accessible programming for staff from the regional gallery network of the Northern Rivers. Offering insights into MCA Access programs, participants will learn some basic Auslan signs in a deaf awareness session and experience Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop in hands-on gallery and studio session. The session outcome will include a toolkit of strategies to deliver accessible and inclusive experiences for audiences and connect to the Deaf and hard of hearing community in museum and gallery settings.
Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) will be working alongside Auslan Stage Left and Second Nature Strategies to interpret Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This reawakened and breathless production is brimming with magic, mirth and mayhem. Fast, funny and family-friendly, this is A Midsummer Night’s Dream reimagined. Tickets for the event on Thursday the 23rd of September are now available online and or through the NORPA Box Office.
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.
Programming for the screen based explorations commenced on the 30th July in 2020 with Screenworks delivering a series of film writing workshops. The intimate lab series worked with two local participants on developing a factual-based film project. The participants were mentored weekly through to the 10th of September 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 were given the opportunity to explore creative storytelling ideas with the outcome of producing a concept document, script and teaser for a short film.
Exploring performing arts, Arts Northern Rivers engaged Deaf contemporary dancer and choreographer Anna Seymour to deliver Ritual, Re-Route, Re-Connect. The movement-based workshop was supported by NORPA by hosting the event in Lismore City Hall in August 2020. Ritual explored participatory models of working with Deaf and hearing participants through movement and dance.
Arts Northern Rivers received funding to deliver this 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 outcomes will inform further funding applications aiming to present a large-scale multi-arts festival event. 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.