Australia Council supports artists with disability

Art News from Australia. Published by anonymous on Friday 19 June 2015.

The Australia Council for the Arts has invested $333,000 for artists with disability to achieve their artistic ambitions.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said 89 applications were received from individual artists and groups for projects and development grants for dedicated disability arts funding delivered through the March grant round and 15 were funded.

“The Australia Council is committed to supporting innovative, creative projects led by artists with disability so they can develop their practice and contribute to Australia’s dynamic arts sector,” Mr Grybowski said.

“There is a rich pool of artistic talent in this area and this investment will support ongoing artistic development and provide opportunities for Australian audiences. This is part of our commitment to supporting the cultural ambitions of artists with disability.

“We received a strong response and many innovative projects for this dedicated funding. All applications were assessed by peers from the disability arts sector.

“The Australia Council aims to support the professional life of the artist at key points in the development of their artistic practice and building their markets and audiences.

“Melbourne performance artist Emma J Hawkins has received a previous Artists with Disability grant which funded the initial development of her autobiographical show I am not a Unicorn! It premiered at Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year and she has now received funding to tour the production, which is a great result.

“I am pleased to see about five per cent of the projects supported through our core grants program are arts and disability projects. I hope to see this number increasing in the future so that even more artists with disability are able to achieve their artistic ambitions and enrich Australia’s artistic and cultural vibrancy.”

Projects funded under the Artists with Disability grant include:

Outlandish Arts will embark on an Australian tour of their dance theatre work Falling in Love with Frida.

Performer, writer and public advocate Thomas Banks will stage his one man show.

Alan Young will present Dance Like Everybody is Watching: an exhibition of paintings at Sawtooth Artist Run Initiative in Launceston, Tasmania.

Writer Gaele Sobott will research, write and edit a collection of 14 short stories.

Chris Dyke will undertake a secondment with Dancenorth mentor Kyle Page.

Projects supported through other grant categories that involve artists with disability.

Australian Network for Art & Technology will facilitate an international exchange for artists with disability that will investigate how living with impairment can result in ways of seeing, hearing, sensing and being in the world that is inaccessible to the ‘able-bodied’. The participants will tell their stories through emerging and experimental technologies.

Sue Murray and NSW Spinal Outreach Service will work with people with spinal-cord-injuries on collaborative and skill-building projects in eight regional areas across NSW. The participants will be taught photography and digital-imaging using equipment that enables people with quadriplegia to control a digital camera and professional studio lighting using a mouth-stick and mobile-phone.

Hydra Poesis will engage emerging artists with disability in Western Australia to create an interdisciplinary performance work with a specific focus on access and participation.