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Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts

March 2013

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Arts Queensland’s monthly update of arts and culture Arts innovation in regional Queensland is the theme of this month’s Arts Update. We have been inspired by Dancenorth’s Artistic Director Raewyn Hill’s commitment to community while growing the company’s national profile; heartened by the roll out of the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative where arts and culture works to strengthen affected Queensland communities; and tempted by the products available on cultural tourism site ‘Handmade in Country’. We also introduce the first column by Grant Support Officer Linda Dreghorn and offer a revealing Q&A with Chair of the Arts Investment Advisory Board Mark Fenton.

Dancenorth’s Fugue. Photo: Bottlebrush Studios

Great state. Great opportunity. 1

Message from the Minister for the Arts Earlier this month I visited Bundaberg and witnessed the devastation left by the recent flooding.

about this terrific initiative in this edition of Arts Update. We have also been moving ahead with the drafting of the Arts for all Queenslanders Strategy. We received more than 288 responses to the first round of consultation and these ideas will now inform the first draft. Look out for the draft next month, when we’ll be calling for your feedback again before we release the final strategy.

This visit reinforced to me how crucial it is to nurture people’s spirit in times of adversity, as well as provide for their material needs. Bricks and mortar are important, but so too is the sense of community that enables people to be optimistic about the future.

Finally, I want to say how encouraged I am after the first meeting with the Arts Investment Advisory Board. The Board is committed to reworking the arts investment framework to create a more accessible and productive grants process, but they are also looking forward to contributing to the realization of projects under new initiatives such as the Super Star Fund as well as being involved in the development of Arts for all Queenslanders strategy. The Board brings a unique skill set of arts, business, philanthropy and not-forprofit experience which is going to be a great asset for us all.

So it was a great pleasure to announce that the Queensland Government is supporting the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative with a $600,000 program. Through Creative Recovery – Building Resilience, arts and cultural programs will be delivered to areas including Gympie, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Fraser Coast and surrounding districts, Dalby and the Lockyer Valley in 2013. These communities will receive performances and arts activities for all ages, as well as specific arts programs developed in and with communities to assist recovery. It is an exciting program and I encourage everyone to get involved. You can find out more

The Honourable Ian Walker MP Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Minister Walker and Bindi Irwin at the premiere of Return to Nim’s Island 2


represents Queensland at Canberra’s centenary celebrations

Fittingly, Robyn Archer, Creative Director of The Centenary of Canberra celebrations, has created an arts and cultural program that reflects the city’s history as a meeting place of the states and territories. Wunderkammer this month. Visit for more details.

The product of Archer’s vision, Collected Works: Australia, brings together outstanding drama and dance from every state and territory for a 12-month season at the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Arts Queensland supported Circa’s appearance at The Centenary of Canberra.

Queensland’s Helpmann Awardwinning Circa, joins 19 other acts on this prestigious bill, presenting

Circa performing Wunderkammer. Photo courtesy C!RCA 3

Arts support focuses on social recovery in disasteraffected communities A major new initiative will see arts and culture play a key role in helping disaster-affected Queenslanders rebuild their lives and community spirit. acknowledge the resilience of communities.”

Creative Recovery – Building Resilience will support arts workshops, programs, performances and activities with Queensland Government funding of $600,000.

Creative Recovery will also cover the fees for touring productions to flood affected areas with Opera Queensland’s Waltzing Our Matilda touring to Munduberra in August, and Circa holding workshops for children.

Dedicated arts programs will be developed with the aid of local organisations and recovery networks in areas such as Bundaberg, Gympie, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Fraser Coast, Central Queensland and the Lockyer Valley.

Creative Recovery – Building Resilience builds on an Arts Queensland-Australia Council pilot project in 2011.

Rod Ainsworth, of Creative Regions, one of the organisations taking a lead role in delivering Creative Recovery, wants art to be a way for people to communicate with each other.

The pilot project involved artists and community members in Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and North Queenslands Cassowary Coast area working together to support local recovery using arts-led processes following the cyclone and flood natural disasters of 2011.

“We are hoping to capture people’s stories. People who have been through a disaster want to start a conversation and talk it through. That is a natural part of recovery,” Rod said.

An evaluation of the pilot project highlights positive feedback received from the community, council officers, teachers, child care workers and service providers.

“We want to use artistic processes such as digital stories, weaving, or art workshops in schools to bring communities together and create events to remember and

The evaluation found projects helped build new connections and supported existing communities 4

Watch these inspiring video case studies from the 2011 pilot project:

to reconnect, allowed people to tell their stories, created rituals and symbols for reflection and commemoration, and built ongoing partnerships to sustain activities into the future. Of particular note, a significant partnership with the Red Cross delivered projects and training across the three regions involved with the pilot.

• Come Together, Cassowary Coast • Girringun Resilience, Cassowary Coast • Tree of Happiness, Lockyer Valley

The Creative Recovery Network, born from the pilot project, will continue in this next phase, continuing building on its work with the Red Cross, developing a network of artists ready to support their communities in meeting challenges from disastrous events, and delivering arts activities at a local level.

• Splashing About in Our Catchment, Lockyer Valley • Ipswich Arts Corps, Ipswich • Arty Party, Ipswich Find out more at or by utilising

The Creative Recovery – Building Resilience program was created with input from arts organisations and councils around the state in flood-affected areas who wanted a coordinated approach to arts-led flood recovery.

Left: Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art’s Kids APT7 On Tour in regional Queensland. Photo courtesy QAGOMA

Arts journey raises spirits of floodaffected Bundaberg students Thirty-five Year 11 and 12 art students from Bundaberg North State High visited the Gallery of Modern Art on Wednesday 27 March with support from the Creative Recovery program.

“There was cheering when I told the students we were going to visit GOMA, it was a great moment,” she said. “The wonderful support we have received for this trip has, not only made it possible for us to go, but also given the students a sense of the caring that the community has for their well being.”

Art teacher Petrina McDonald wanted to inspire her students by seeing first-hand the work of major international artists and techniques her students have been studying for exams.

Photo courtesy QAGOMA. Photo Mark Sherwood 5

Online artisan collective fostering exciting new opportunities Tourism and the arts have long been happy bedfellows and a new initiative in southern Queensland is looking to marry the two industries even more closely. Handmade in Country, an exciting idea from Southern Queensland Country Tourism (SQCT) is an online platform connecting local artisans, tourism operators and potential consumers. Helped along by an Arts Queensland Development and Presentation Grant, this initiative is a great example of how different industries can work together for mutual benefit.

reputation for producing boutique industries. The region is home to thousands of small professional operations specializing in everything from wine-making and jewellery production to saddlemaking and stone masonry. SQCT well-knew the potential at their finger tips, all that was left to do was to bring the operators together to open up new commercial and tourism opportunities.

The South Burnett, Toowoomba and Southern Downs/ Granite Belt region in Queensland has a

Jules McMurtrie, of SQCT, who manages the website, says the idea originally germinated from 6

“Local businesses, organisations and industries have also shown great support of Handmade in Country with the local Chamber of Commerce recently purchasing a range of Christmas gifts and the local council buying all its gifts for international visitors through the website.”

the local knowledge of the many unique heritage trades in the region and a desire to keep those trades alive. “Some of our local artisans are experts in producing things that cannot be found anywhere else in Australia and we saw a real need to preserve this heritage,” she said.

As well as the economic benefits to the artisan members, Handmade in Country is also dedicated to professional development through workshops on business, finance, marketing and training. The site assists members in accessing tender and commission opportunities, potential employment and provides links to funding and grant information.

“It was a small step from there to recognize that this could also be a clever economic and tourism development idea for the region.” The idea is simple yet effective – a website that connects supply with demand. Jules says many of the local artisans had the creative skills but not the business skills to make the most of commercial opportunities. The Handmade in Country website aims to take the guess-work out of the artisans getting themselves in front of potential buyers.

Jules has big plans for Handmade in Country and with more than 40 artisan members signing on since the website’s launch in January, there’s little doubt that these successes will help Handmade in Country reach its target of 80 members by the end of the year.

Jules says tying Handmade in Country in with tourism has already seen great outcomes such as local sculptor Dan Gill offering three-day sculpture workshops set among the awe-inspiring granite rock outcrops of Girraween Environmental Lodge.

For further information visit: Some of the artisans featured on Photos courtesy Southern Queensland Country Tourism

“This is a perfect pairing with Dan offering the workshops during the week which is outside the Lodge’s peak period,” says Jules. “Dan gains valuable exposure and economic benefits from the workshops and the Lodge hits their peak occupancy during what would usually be a downtime.” 7

Connection to community Dancenorth’s exciting prospects are built on an old and new history of strengthening its local engagement. The challenge? Dancenorth’s ‘community’ encompasses Cairns to the Gold Coast. When Raewyn Hill arrived as Dancenorth’s new Artistic Director three years ago, she had the company’s 46-year history to respect while forging her own direction for its future.

‘we’re so happy you’ve come back’. “So the balance becomes how to meet the expectations of Dancenorth in the community while maintaining and growing our national profile.”

Instead of finding the past a burden, Raewyn found it an inspiration.

Raewyn’s solution has been to roll out a three-tiered approach. The foremost priority is the presentation of outstanding main season work. Supporting this is Dancenorth’s engagement as a company in residence at KickArts in Cairns, the Arts Centre, Gold Coast and the Mildura Arts Centre, which also extends and deepens the company’s audience development. The third tier is a dedicated community education program able to reach a huge number of people each week.

“My first year was really spent learning, how does the company exist now, how has it existed?” Raewyn said. “What impressed me was the great sense of pride the Townsville community has in this company – their sense of connection. “And not just Townsville, Dancenorth has such a strong history that on regional tours we are always met with comments of 8

While a version of this model is common to many companies, what is impressive about Dancenorth is its geographic scope.

Raewyn is passionate about audience development, working to drop barriers, talking the work through and allowing people to say ‘I don’t get this, can you explain’.

“With our commitment to regional Queensland, we have a lot of ground to cover, and then we also have national touring commitments” she said.

“You can’t exist without a community that supports you, this is what the strong history of this company highlights,” she said.

“The expense means that we can only afford a biennial touring circuit around Queensland – one year we go west, then the next tour we’ll head north.

“It has taken three years but this year it is really starting to feel like it’s coming together. “We have some great national opportunities in the pipeline, we’re looking to develop partnerships with key festivals and venues nationally, once this happens we’ll have a great balance.”

“On the alternate years, our community education team visits to deliver workshops and education programs. “The residencies give us studio time where we can focus on the development of main season works while engaging with the community and perhaps presenting a studio showing – it gets the work out without the expense.

Dancenorth presents MASS, 18-20 April, in Townsville. Visit

Family ties

investment, which led the company to undertake a fundraising campaign in Townsville.

Left: Dancenorth’s MASS. Photo: Bottlebrush Studios. Raewyn Hill. Photo: Naomi Lee Photography. Above: Community connections with Art stag. Photo: Ferry Photography

Dancenorth and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation recently embarked on an exciting triennial agreement to enrich the company’s community education program.

“We matched their investment in a month and then that investment has been matched again with partnerships. “Working with the Foundation is much more than a financial exchange, partly because we as a company have also invested in our relationship but also because this extraordinary, generous family seek a connection with the company and the work.”

The company and the Foundation have been working together since 2010 when it supported Dancenorth’s New York residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Centre. Raewyn says the Foundation challenged them to match its 9


Mark Fenton,

Chair of the Arts Investment Advisory Board Mark Fenton was recently announced as Chair of the new Arts Investment Advisory Board – a role he’s relishing. The Board’s mission is to advise the Arts Minister on arts investment and policy and a strategic direction for the arts that grows and strengthens the sector. It is a challenging charter but one the Board is looking forward to tackling. Q: As the Executive Manager, Finance, with RACQ your background is in predominately finance and management, how will you apply these skills to your new role?

structure is necessary to ensure resources and risks are correctly managed to allow art to be created in a sustainable way. A healthy balance must be found between creativity and the inevitable commercial reality that is required in all organisations. Too much emphasis on either aspect ultimately delivers lesser outcomes.

Twenty years of business experience in finance, general management and as a company director and army reserve officer in a variety of organisations has taught me that it’s all about people.

Building financial reserves for the long term requires the discipline to consistently spend less than you earn. A healthy financial position can allow an arts organisation to comfortably take artistic risk – which ultimately fulfils its purpose, the development of its art form.

Most of my experience is with medium-sized businesses where I have had to develop a range of skills beyond those usually required of a finance professional. Also, I have spent nine years as a non-executive director at John Paul College and a similar amount of time on the Board of Queensland Ballet.

When it comes to long-term sustainability, having multiple sources of income is a great way to protect yourself. Over-reliance on one product, service, donor or customer will ultimately limit your options.

Q: Your time with the Board of Queensland Ballet would have given you insight to the complexities of arts organisations. What lessons do you think the arts sector can take from the commercial sector?

Q: What’s the best piece of management advice you ever received?

An art organisation exists to produce art. An organisational

An early mentor introduced me to the quote from Louis Pasteur 10

that ‘chance favours the mind that is prepared’. This taught me the importance of a good work ethic as a way of achieving my goals. My other favourite is the idea that ‘there is always a bigger picture’.

I was so inspired with that and many subsequent performances that I found a way to support the Company and joined the Board where I served for nearly nine years.

Q: Do you have an arts memory that still moves you?

A finer appreciation came later that a successful production also requires the appropriate choice of music, costumes, sets, lighting, and that it takes a master of their craft to blend these elements together to deliver a moving and memorable experience. To deliver a result that has audience appeal and is commercially viable also requires marketing and promotional efforts, which ultimately builds a brand that audiences can trust.

I still remember the first Queensland Ballet production I saw … it was the annual International Gala in 2001. We still have the program! When I remember how I felt when I saw those young dancers, most of whom were homegrown Queenslanders, perform at the QPAC Playhouse that evening … a world class performance experience alongside principal dancers from overseas … still gives me goose bumps to this day.

Mark’s fast five Favourite food? Cote d’Or chocolate Cat or dog person? I am a dog person … but we have two cats (happy wife, happy life) If you weren’t an accountant, what would you do? A challenging and satisfying role in the not for profit sector Favourite holiday destination? Anywhere near the beach … with the smell of the ocean and the sand between my toes … Just heaven Favourite book? Most recently … It’s Culture Stupid by Leigh Tabrett

New era for Queensland writers Budding Queensland authors are encouraged to apply for three $15,000 writing fellowships focused on fostering the development of new books and projects.

“We want to foster home grown talent and we know the best way to do that is to support and reward Queensland writers. Applications for fellowships will be assessed against the: significance of the proposed project to Queensland; the writer’s track record and the likelihood of completing a manuscript to high standard; the role the fellowship will play in an applicant’s professional and career development; and the likelihood of publication.

A partnership between the Queensland Government and Queensland Literary Awards, the Fellowships focus on supporting and developing homegrown talent. “Queensland has an abundance of literary talent and this is an investment in the future,” Ian Walker, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts said when announcing the fellowships earlier this month.

The fellowships opened on 25 March and close 17 May. Find out more at www. 11

Queensland art a hit in Texas The art of Queensland indigenous artist Rosella Namok has been showcased in the United States with her artworks featured in the Houston Ballet’s stunning production of The Rite of Spring, presented this month in Texas. Arts Queensland assisted in formalising the arrangement for the Houston Ballet through Backing Indigenous Arts, which Queensland indigenous artists to take their unique art to the world.

Two of Rosella’s paintings, Stinging Rain and Marks on Sand, after King Tide, were recreated as backdrops for the ballet performances, choreographed by the Houston Ballet’s Australian artistic director Stanton Welch.

Artists and arts organisations can apply for Backing Indigenous Art funding to market and grow Queensland Indigenous art. Funding of up to $10,000 is available for groups, organisations and local governments while individuals can apply for up to $5000. Funding closes 30 April 2013.

Rosella travelled to Houston for the production, where she was called ‘one of the rock stars of contemporary Australian art’ on Houston Ballet’s facebook page. The Rite of Spring received terrific reviews. Culturemap Houston said: “Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch has done a remarkable job. Rosella Namok’s set designs bring sophistication and color.”

Rosella in front of the backdrop for The Rite of Spring. Photo: Cameron Durham

Rosella is an internationally recognised artist from Far North Queensland, originally hailing from Lockhart River, and now based in Cairns. 12

Funding Update with Linda Dreghorn

Securing funding is always a challenge for artists and arts organisations. administrators that includes resources and grant information. Anyone can subscribe by emailing me at linda.dreghorn@arts.qld.

Arts Queensland has several initiatives aimed to assist. The first is me. My role as the Grant Support Officer is to offer you a form of one-stop-shop for all your questions. I am available on the phone or via email to provide direction and advice on funding opportunities and the application process, as well as how to increase your ability to attract sponsors and philanthropic funding.

Queensland’s arts community should also be aware that the Arts Investment Advisory Board is reviewing Arts Queensland’s funding programs and an investment framework 2013-2014 will be in place by June 2013. The Arts Queensland website lists the funding programs currently accepting applications including Super Star, Playing Queensland, Backing Indigenous Arts Building Skills and Opportunities, Artists in Residence and Career Development Grants.

We have also updated the funding page on the Arts Queensland website so it now includes tips for grant applications and funding fact sheets for various art form areas. The funding fact sheets provide a comprehensive list of funding options and details of assistance on offer both from Arts Queensland and other organisations.

Please feel free to contact me at / 07 3234 1092 if you have any enquiries.

I also issue a regular Resource Email Update aimed at arts

Media releases The Arts raises spirits of flood-affected students

Return to Nim’s Island puts Queensland in the spotlight

The Creative Recovery-Building Resilience program began in Brisbane on 27 March with a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art by students from Bundaberg North State High School (BNHS). Read more

Queensland shone at the premiere of Return to Nim’s Island at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast on 17 March. Read more

Brisbane to host Australia’s first Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition

The Newman Government announced funding for a new initiative which will see the arts play a key role in helping disaster affected Queenslanders rebuild their lives on 12 March. Read more

Arts to help rebuild communities

Brisbane will be the first city in Australia to host asolo exhibition of leading international contemporary artist, Cai GuoQiang. Read more 13

Art unlocking skills in Queensland schools

top theatre productions and performers, recognised at the Matilda Awards. Read more

The Newman Government is delivering on its Arts for All Queenslanders policy with the Artist in Residence program. Read more

New era for Queensland writers Arts Minister Ian Walker has announced a new chapter for Queensland authors with the launch of the Queensland Writers Fellowship program. Read more

Queensland’s outstanding achievers honoured Arts Minister Ian Walker has congratulated Queensland’s

Resources update Arts Queensland’s Regional Arts and Culture Awards 2013

National Library of Australia - 2013 Community Heritage Grants

Queensland’s regional arts workers are encouraged to nominate for the biennial Arts Queensland Regional Arts and Culture Awards 2013. Closes 30 April. Visit

The National Library of Australia is calling for applications for the 2013 Community Heritage Grants. The grants of up to $15,000 are available to community groups around the country to help preserve and manage locally held, nationally significant cultural heritage collections of documents and objects for future generations. Applications close on 1 May 2013. Visit

Philanthropy Australia Grant-seeker’s Guide to Assessing Social Impact 2013 Presented by Dr Gianni Zappalà, this seminar is designed for grantseekers: CEOs, program managers, development and fundraising staff from not-for-profit, educational and charitable organisations that seek funds from philanthropic trusts and foundations. The workshop will be held in Brisbane on 21 May 2013 at a cost of $550 for non-members. Visit

Australia Council 2013 Funding Australia Council Theatre Board has announced two new initiatives: Community Engagement Residency and Remount Fund for Independent Artists. Both offer grants up to $15,000. Read more

Articles & Reports Mining a different type of boom: the growth of Australia’s creative services by Stuart Cunningham at The Conversation See

Final report of the Making Culture Count Conference University Of Melbourne and Cultural Development Network. See

Got a great arts story? We want to hear from you. Please contact Arts Update by emailing About us: Arts Queensland is part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. For more information on Arts Queensland go to or call 1800175531 For more information on Queensland Government go to 14

Arts Update March 2013  

Arts innovation in regional Queensland is the theme of this month’s Arts Update. We have been inspired by Dancenorth’s Artistic Director Rae...