The Arts

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Funding boost for Aboriginal artists

The Sydney Opera House, Bangarra Dance Theatre, and the Biennale of Sydney will help emerging Aboriginal artists kickstart their careers, following an injection of more than $1 million funding from the NSW Government.

The funding will support new programs, partnerships and jobs in the State’s Aboriginal arts and cultural sector, Minister for the Arts, George Souris, announced last week.

Mr Souris visited the Sydney Opera House last week to announce the first funding package under the government’s comprehensive Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Strategy including $200,000 over two years to expand the Message Sticks Festival.

“Sydney and NSW have the largest population of Aboriginal people in Australia, and the longest continuous contact between Australians of European and Aboriginal descent,” Mr Souris said.

“We want to improve visibility of our rich Aboriginal heritage and ensure our Aboriginal culture is strong, vibrant and diverse.

“This funding boost recognises the importance of supporting growth in the Aboriginal arts and cultural sector. From dance to theatre, literature, visual arts and music – many different forms of Aboriginal art and cultural practice will benefit.

The funding has been allocated for a variety of organisations and projects, including:

  • $200,000 over two years for the Sydney Opera House to expand the Message Sticks Festival into a full multimedia program with more new work from local artists
  • $200,000 over two years for Bangarra Dance Theatre to fund a new traineeship program
  • $145,500 to fund professional internships by Aboriginal arts workers with the Biennale of Sydney
  • $120,000 for Museums and Galleries NSW to hold a two-day summit on Aboriginal keeping places and cultural knowledge centres.

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