New funding provides $50,000 for arts projects in Darebin

Image by Bryony Jackson

New funding provides $50,000 for arts projects in Darebin

Darebin Council is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of the FUSE Fund arts grants program. The FUSE Fund aims to support local artists and organisations present high quality arts projects and events as part of Darebin’s brand-new multi-arts festival FUSE, held in Autumn and Spring each year.

Seven exciting projects were successful and received their full funding request, totalling $50,000, providing work to around 60 artists and much needed creative connection for our community in the coming months. Council had received 35 high quality applications for funding.

Mayor Susan Rennie said the City of Darebin has a vibrant creative community and is the home and workplace to a large community of artists, and that Council values the role they play in our community’s wellbeing.

“We wanted to support the artists and contractors in our community during this difficult period. Darebin City Council has a strong arts focus and sees the arts as essential to increasing community wellbeing and contributing to broader cultural expression,” Mayor Rennie said.

“We are thrilled to be able to support such wonderful projects through the FUSE Fund. Darebin is full of talented artists, and this is an example of the quality. The projects reflect the diversity and creativity of our community, with performances and events designed for or by intergeneration engagement, LGBTQI communities, Aboriginal artists and families, and the broader population.”

The seven grant recipients will have their work showcased at this year’s FUSE Spring festival and next year’s FUSE Autumn festival programs.

 “We are so excited to have this opportunity to virtually meet people from across our communities and bring together the wonderful diversity of our community for FUSE.” said Dan Goronszy, whose project Hearts in Isolation was approved for funding. She added, “We feel lucky to be here in Darebin, the council have a strong history of supporting the arts, and we're are thrilled they are continuing to nourish their artists and communities at this time of uncertainty.”

While this year’s inaugural FUSE Autumn festival was cancelled soon after launching due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Council took the position to still honour 100 per cent of its financial commitments with artists and contractors who had been engaged for the festival.

Additionally, Council honoured all box office payments to artists for cancelled performances at its arts venues, while also refunding 100 per cent of ticket sales for shows that did not proceed so that neither artists nor audiences would suffer financially.

These decisions were made in line with Darebin Council’s advocacy for valuing artists and creative practitioners, and the role they play in community wellbeing.

FUSE Fund Grant Recipients

For FUSE Spring 2020:

Speak Percussion (Thornbury): Before Nightfall at Bundoora Homestead (Thornbury)

A series of new artistic encounters between Speak Percussion and invited guest artists. Each collaboration takes place across the course of one day, culminating in a free, intimate, live performance. Speak Percussion will partner with Bundoora Homestead to present a site-specific performance inspired by works in the Darebin Art Collection and in collaboration with a visual artist.

Dan Goronszy (Reservoir): Hearts in Isolation; A Map

 A multiplatform, participatory mapping project, asking Darebin residents to create and submit an artistic map representing items in their home that hold their heart afloat while in isolation. This poetic project allows us to share our hearts space in isolation with others via an online gallery.

Diego Ramirez (Thornbury): Stray Dogs

An online reading featuring 5 writers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These writers will produce a text reflecting on art in times of pandemia from an alternative perspective and deliver a virtual reading across media platforms. The texts will range from reviews, opinion pieces, autobiographical and fictocriticism.

Mark Pritchard (Northcote): Playwrights Bake Off

A two-day rapid playwriting challenge, challenging ten playwrights to each write an entire play overnight in response to a set of ingredients, and then share them with one another. The workshop focuses on creative inspiration skills development to build confidence and community between the cohort of writers.

For FUSE Autumn 2021:

Katie Eagles (Thornbury): Infinite Thanks

 A collaborative LGBTQIA art project involving a growing collection of small ‘gratitude’ paintings, exhibited in a bespoke ‘chapel’ covered with Kaff-eine’s vibrant characters. It honours LGBTQIA saints and heroes and invites people to share stories of LGBTQIA gratitude by creating paintings or writing directly on the chapel characters, allowing insight into the private lives of the LGBTQIA community.

Northlands Campaign Community Aboriginal Reference Group (Preston): A Fight for Survival – Northland Gathering - Healing, Hope & Future

A creative project about Aboriginal people telling their own story and sharing this in a creative and cultural way, involving grassroots Aboriginal people’s intelligence, knowledge, strength and challenges. This collective story about Aboriginal identity, resilience and celebration supported by strong allies is an exhibition on Healing, Hope & Future.

Dominic Weintraub (Northcote): Anything You Can Do

A community-led performance work. Older members of our community will graciously teach a skill to a young member of our community. The student must perfect the skill, learn from their master's mistakes and challenge them in a dojo of theatrical proportion - a community council venue.

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