Your Big Idea

Your Big Idea

Your Big Idea was a seed funding project delivered by Arts Northern Rivers, calling for proposals for ambitious ideas ready to be developed into contemporary arts projects. The winning ideas received $5,000 seed funding in addition to a tailored project development package.

Applications were assessed by a panel of highly regarded industry leaders. The project called for original concepts must at the cutting edge of visual arts, experimental, performance, theatre, live art, music, sound, dance or interdisciplinary contemporary arts practice.

The tailored Project Development phase worked closely with Arts Northern Rivers to hone their project ready for funding, leveraging Arts Northern Rivers’ expertise and access to industry networks and expert knowhow across various sectors.


The project received an overwhelming response, emphasising the creative talent residing in the Northern Rivers. In 2020 Arts Northern Rivers awarded a winner, plus funded each of the remaining five finalists $3,000 seed funding each to realise their ambitious ideas spanning across the cutting edge of interdisciplinary and contemporary arts practices.

Winning Idea

The 2020 Your Big Idea winners were Peter Castaldi and Arianna Bosi from Dashboard Animals, for their idea ‘#onlyinoceanshores’.

Taking the InSideOut Lightbox, a collaborative exhibition and performance space within a shopping centre precinct, from POP-UP to permanent, the idea is to establish on-going activity to nurture an artistic environment, where everyone assumes there is none.⁣


Charlotte Haywood and Valley Lipcer | Understory is a new interdisciplinary work for young audiences which is immersive, interactive and multi-sensory. Both a multi-modal installation and a durational performance, the work will augment the natural setting of the Lismore Rainforest Botanical Gardens and deliver an imaginative adventure in nature for young audiences.

Elevator ARI | Elevator ARI will provide an ambitious year-long exhibition and performance program that will serve as a catalyst for the development of the organisation, while bringing vibrant and challenging contemporary arts to the region.

Kit Webster | Odyssey is an immersive theatre experience and guided forest walk where imagination, nature and technology collide, with costumed characters, roaming animatronic creatures, illuminated inflatable sculptures and intricate light and sound installations.

Laurent Labourmène | Project 100+ is a curatorial platform which will support the development and launch of a long durational artistic and cultural work in the Northern Rivers region. This long durational work will unfold over, and be enabled by, multiple generations (ie; 100+ years).

Louise Lavarack and Cobie Orger | Passage is a live art performance driven by a morphing sculptural structure, live percussion and dynamic choreography. Together, two sculptors, two dancers and four drummers create an enveloping sonic and sculptural environment, the resolution of which involves audience participation.

Selection Panel

Emily Sullivan, Kaldor Art Projects, Curator | Emily Sullivan is a Sydney-based curator, published writer and producer. Major projects include works by prominent Australian and international artists; Agatha Gothe-Snape, Alicia Frankovich, Anri Sala, Asad Raza, Ian Milliss, Michael Landy and Miralda. Most recently, in her role as Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Emily co-curated do it (australia) with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London, commissioning new work by 18 Australian artists and creative practitioners for the organisation’s first digital art project.

Virginia Hyam, HOTA, Head of Programming | Virginia Hyam started her arts career in Youth Arts in South Australia, moving on to Directing Melbourne Fringe Festival and then to Sydney Opera House, where she worked for 10 years as Executive Producer of the Studio and the Head of Contemporary Culture, specialising in the presentation of contemporary performance. In her current role as Head of Programming HOTA (formally Arts Centre Gold Coast) she is driving new programming initiatives across the cultural precinct.


In 2018 Arts Northern Rivers announced not one, but two winners of the Your Big Idea project.

Winning Ideas

Caroline Wales took the emerging category for Ballina’s Pop Up Festival of The Arts, Ballinale; converting self-storage units in the Ballina Industrial Estate into immersive interdisciplinary spaces.

The established category went to NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts) who the judges thought the extensive reach of the project and it’s aim of engaging with artists and partners across multiple disciplines deserved the top gong.

Selection Panel

Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks

Jeff Khan, Artistic Director & CEO of Performance Space

Roslyn Helper, Director of Underbelly Arts