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May 31, 2023

State grants for regional and indigenous performance groups

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Both Lismore’s NORPA and Murwillumbah Theatre Company have been recent recipients of NSW Government largesse in an effort to build indigenous talent and to bring more creative performance works to the region.

The $60,000 Creative Koori grant made to NORPA in conjunction with NAISDA (National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association) and ACPA (Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts) will enable an Emerging Indigenous Artists Development Program.

The program will in turn deliver workshops for emerging Indigenous artists exploring artistic practice, professional development, exploration of ideas for new works and building networks.

It will also enable NORPA to employ an associate artist for a four-week residency to help them develop new work at NORPA with access to NORPA’s expertise in making new Australian work.

NORPA’s GM Patrick Healey said, ‘The idea for this program stems from the project Horses Mouth, a collaboration between NORPA and Beyond Empathy. While that project is very successful it… became clear is that there was a big gap in opportunities for emerging Aboriginal artists to make new work, hone and develop their art-form and find pathways to employment in the sector.’

NORPA Associate Artistic Director Kirk Page said, ‘This is a great opportunity for NORPA’s existing Associate Artists to engage with and lead sessions with these emerging Indigenous artists.’

Money for ‘Trash’

A separately announced $1,600 in funding from Create NSW will enable Murwillumbah Theatre Company to bring the acclaimed production Trash Alchemy to the region.

Written and directed by Liesel Badorrek and performed by Johnny Nasser, Trash Alchemy covers themes including consumerism, pollution and recycling, and has been described as a ‘transformational tale for young people’.

The production’s set, props and puppetry are made entirely from found and recycled/re-purposed materials, allowing the audience to rethink the value of what is normally discarded.

This funding will also provide access to affordable theatre and high-quality professional performance which will give this regional community, in particular families, the opportunity to engage with live theatre in their local venue.

Both grants were announced last week by Lismore MP Thomas George (Nationals) and arts minister Don Harwin (Liberal).

Mr George said, ‘Trash Alchemy delivers a very important message through a fantastically creative way. It’s great to know this funding will bring the production to Lismore and I’m sure local audiences will love it.’






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