Page 968 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013

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There are lovely relationships forming. It is lovely to show that you don’t have to have an art background to be an artist, everyone is an artist in their own right, sometimes you just need someone to push it together.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, could you outline some of the initiatives in the centenary program that you just talked about that are directly supporting local artists?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. I know he has a keen interest in arts with his connection through the local arts organisations. As mentioned, we are blessed to have an arts program in 2013 that brings local artists and internationally acclaimed artists together. There are projects for which the Centenary Unit is engaging local artists directly, such as the birthday celebrations, as the Chief Minister has outlined, which will employ many local musicians and Indigenous performers. There are also many projects which the Centenary Unit is funding local organisations and companies to deliver. The assistance provided through the centenary is fostering and deepening the connections that local artists, institutions and companies have with each other, leaving a creative legacy that will extend beyond 2013.

I will name a few of the things that are coming up. You Are Here is a multi-arts festival from 14 to 24 March, with three local and emerging creative producers, three local and emerging curators and many local performers. The Village in Glebe Park is a fringe-style arts event to be held in Glebe Park from 21 to 24 March, including local musicians and performers. City of Trees is a multi-disciplinary project by UK artist Jyll Bradly, exploring treescapes. Made in Canberra is eight new productions of new theatre works by local theatre makers and cast, designers, composers, performers and others. With QL2 Hit the Floor Together, approximately 25 young Indigenous and non-Indigenous dancers will work together under the artistic direction of QL2 artistic director Ruth Osborne, Canberra raised Indigenous choreographer Daniel Riley McKinley and others to make a new work about Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.

Of course we have seen some great, extraordinary shows and performances already, and I look forward to the year ahead.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, could you outline some of the advantages that will come from the artist-in-residence program that you elucidated before for Canberra artists?

MS BURCH: An artist-in-residence program is a very important part of nurturing and mentoring the local art in the city. It is incredibly important to keep that artistic vibrancy that we have and that is held in such high regard here in Canberra.

But for our local artists, there are opportunities for them to travel overseas for residencies overseas. That is one thing. But there is a bigger ripple effect and benefit when we create residencies here in Canberra and put Canberra clearly on the map nationally and internationally as a place of high artistic integrity.

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