Create NSW’s Making Spaces finds new areas for arts diversity in Western Sydney

L-R: Afaf Al-Shammari, Jane Stratton, Yvonne Lam, Michael Brealey, Claudia Chidiac, Augusta Supple, Kim Siew

Create NSW has announced that eight sites across Western Sydney have been selected to share funding of over $400,000 in order to create hubs for a diverse mix of arts, screen and digital projects and organisations.

Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey said that the Western Sydney Making Spaces Initiative enables professional artists and arts organisations to create their work in new studios, artists’ residencies and rehearsal spaces across the region, including the Blue Mountains, Camden, Fairfield, Cumberland, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.

“Western Sydney is home to an incredible range of exciting artists, but the search for physical space remains a challenge. This Initiative is a response to this challenge which aims to harness and promote our talent by creating innovative partnerships with property owners that make existing spaces work harder and smarter.

“We want the region to be recognised as the true creative hub that it is. By maximising access to local council, community or retail spaces and even opening up unused areas, we can foster arts participation and development and increase the visibility of arts and culture across the region as a whole.

“Through this funding we have been able to support a fantastic range of projects, including an Arab-Australian contemporary theatre hub in Cumberland, a literature collective in Fairfield creating jobs for artists and translators, and a new space offering mentorships for digital artists in the Penrith area,” Mr Brealey said.

Western Sydney is a priority region for support and development as a key part of the NSW Government’s Create in NSW 10-year policy framework that guides strategy, investment and partnerships to grow a thriving, globally connected arts and cultural sector.

For further information on the Western Sydney Making Spaces Initiative and other targeted support email arts.funding@arts.nsw.gov.au

The Western Sydney Making Spaces recipients include:

1. Western Sydney Writing Rooms (WestWords Ltd)

Westwords will be coordinating three linked writers’ rooms in Campbelltown, Parramatta and Blue Mountains to provide a mix of long and short-term residential spaces for writing groups, mentoring, meetings and events for the development and presentation of new work by writers from Western Sydney.

2. In Other Words at Lost In Books (Think & Do Tank Foundation Limited)

Located at the Fairfield Lost in Books bookshop, In Other Words’ entirely new space will offer paid residencies to enable teams of emerging and established authors (children and adults), graphic novelists and translators to develop, produce and deliver new literary works in languages other than English.

3. Arab Theatre Studio – Creative Hub – Cumberland Council

The Arab Theatre Studio project located at Granville Town Hall funds Alissar Chidiac and Maissa Alameddine as coordinators/artists to facilitate critical conversations between Arab Australian contemporary artists from Western Sydney. The creative hub will provide an accessible meeting space to develop artforms related to performance.

4. Creative Camden Hub – Camden Council

The Creative Camden Hub will be a central place for the development of new works, projects and collaborations by professional artists and arts groups in Camden. There will be workshops and public outcomes for the local community to participate in and extend their cross cultural and artistic experiences through different artforms.

5. Urban Screen Studio Residencies – Liverpool City Council

A series of artists’ residencies situated in the Liverpool CBD, where artists will work with local community groups to produce creative content for the urban screen in Macquarie Mall.

6. DiG (Digital Maker Space – Penrith) – Penrith City Council

Penrith City Council will open a space for creative and professional development initiatives for emerging Western Sydney multi-disciplinary digital artists/designers. A series of 16-week residency and mentorship programs will focus on creative and professional advancement initiatives, nurturing and providing a bridge between the completion of arts/creative education and the professional arts industry.

7. Activate Dance Residencies across Western Sydney (Dance Makers Collective)

Dance Makers Collective will build and foster long-term partnerships through a series of residencies, workshops and outreach programs in Fairfield and Cumberland to create content and build audiences for professional dance in Western Sydney.

8. Lomandra Storytime (Shopfront Arts Co-op Ltd)

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Shopfronts Arts Co-op will work with young people to transform schools into arts venues and welcome the local community to large-scale public arts events. Shopfront will be working with Lomandra School, which caters for young people with behavioural needs and emotional trauma.

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Published: 22 June 2017