Recovery Project Streams Announced
Arts Northern Rivers is undertaking three streams of focus for recovery in 2023/4. The project streams arose from the outcomes of the Creative Industries Recovery Forum held in 2022 where Public Art, First Nations Arts, and Dance were identified as the three areas of need in supporting the regions activation, recovery and renewal.
The project strategies will support: Public Art through a Residency/Exchange network development opportunity for local artists with Otautahi Christchurch focusing on post disaster recovery in art in public spaces; Dance through sector support for artforms that currently do not receive a great deal of support, and; First Nations Arts through invigorating the region’s artists via connection and professional development.
Below is an overview of each of the projects, with more information coming on each of their developments throughout March –
Residency Exchange: *Expansive Encounters*
*Expansive Encounters* is an immersive research and development opportunity for artists to increase professional practice through community engagement, placemaking and public art.
This program will develop an innovative network of art practitioners who can participate in the re-imagining of public spaces in our region. The exchange will offer Northern Rivers artists an engaging immersion in the Ōtautahi Christchurch public arena, supporting a deeper understanding of the various cultural strands and values that have shaped the city post-earthquake.
*Expansive Encounters* is open to artists that live and work in the Northern Rivers at all career stages, with proposals considered from artists working within or showcasing a demonstrated interest in public art practices. The foundation of this reciprocal exchange will establish the parameters of an ongoing relationship between the Northern Rivers and Ōtautahi Christchurch, strengthening the capacity of artistic practice in a post-disaster context.
Participants will contribute knowledge to a series of professional development workshops in the Northern Rivers upon their return, offering insights into their experience and inform collective action within the post-disaster recovery in our region.
Expressions of Interest will open for this program for 2 x Northern Rivers practitioners in April 2023, closing in July 2023. The residency will take place over four weeks in September 2023.
Dance Sector Uplift
The Dance Sector Uplift project is designed to reactivate dance, physical theatre and experimental performance across the region.
In consultation with local artists, Arts Northern Rivers is committed to stimulating the region with a revitalisation of the sector by supporting activities which nourish and promote the region as a creative, thriving and growing centre of diverse dance practice.
Following an initial engagement with local Bundjalung, Yaegl and Gumbaynggirr leaders, knowledge keepers of dance, dance makers and performers and global Indigenous and CALD artists living in the region, Arts Northern Rivers will invite all artists working across an embodied practice to contribute to the research and design process for the reactivation of dance.
In the next stage of the consultation, an online questionnaire will be the platform for which anyone working in the dance sector across the region can contribute to. Survey results will be collated and distilled to inform the direction and outcomes of the project. Everyone who dances professionally is welcomed and encouraged to take part in this next research phase.
First Nations Network Sector Support
Arts Northern Rivers has committed to supporting the establishment of a recognised First Nations Creative Industries Network for the region. The need for such a network was identified at a session at the Forum attended by Bundjalung, Yaegl and Gumbaynggirr creatives. The aim of the network is to gather and invigorate the First Nations creative community in the region through a series of face-to-face sessions and yarns.
The project will be self-determined, with key First Nations creatives from the region coming together to lead and drive the process. The project officially launched in February 2023, with a series of gatherings planned throughout the region over the course of the year.
The establishment of the network is expected to have several outcomes and impacts. Firstly, it will facilitate professional development and build capacity within the First Nations creative sector. Additionally, it will improve equity and strengthen alignment across the region, ensuring ongoing opportunities for connection. Finally, the network will help to create a more connected and collaborative creative sector in the region.
More information on these project streams will follow.
Image | Photograph by Holly Ahern in Ōtautahi/Christchurch. Artist unknown.
These project streams have been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.