People in regional areas will be riding a wave of artistic opportunity with the State Government announcement of a $400,000 funding boost for regional arts.
Everything from contemporary music concerts through to community arts projects and special youth arts initiatives will be supported by the funding, which is provided under the Regional Development Trust Fund established earlier this year by the State Government.
Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan said the arts have a natural ability to promote social cohesion and help build stronger communities.
“These are underlying principles of the Government’s new Regional Development Policy, which recognises the vital role of recreation and the arts in healthy community living,” Mr Cowan said.
“The Trust Fund was set up specifically to fund projects that support the Regional Development Policy and the varied range of arts initiatives now planned for the regions clearly fit the bill.”
The additional funding was detailed by the Minister for the Arts and Youth, Mike Board, at the Regional Arts Australia’s second national conference in Esperance last night.
Mr Board said young people would be particular beneficiaries, with a number of the projects funded under the program specifically targeting youth.
“The capacity of the arts to provide recreation, work skills, social contact and direction for young people in regional areas is enormous – and this initiative will enable communities to capitalise on those opportunities,” he said.
In total, $280,000 has been allocated to ArtsWA over three years to establish a program of concerts in regional areas, with a focus on original Western Australian contemporary music, and to help fund Arts Edge Regional Coordinators in the Kimberley, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions to work with teachers and students to develop new arts activities.
As well, $120,000 has been allocated to Country Arts WA to distribute as small grants for various community arts events and activities in regional areas, and to support youth art projects planned for Albany, Esperance, Geraldton and Northam, in association with the peak arts organisations in these areas.
“The activities resulting from this funding will be wide-ranging, bringing professional artists to regional areas, aiding skills development and training of local artists, and providing recreation and enjoyment for thousands of people of all ages,”
the Ministers said.
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222 8788