Creativity Australia, a non-profit organisation uses community singing to bridge socioeconomic divides. To celebrate their ten year anniversary, they are offering ten grants of up to $10,000 in 2019 through their 'With One Voice' Community Choir Start-up fund.
ROUND 9 OPEN NOW. This is an open round where applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis, no closing date.
The organisation, founded by acclaimed Soprano singer and award-winning social entrepreneur Tania de Jong, currently runs 20 ‘With One Voice’ community choirs across Australia, and plans to see this expand to 40 choirs nation-wide by 2020.
Local community groups, social businesses and not-for-profits wanting to promote social inclusion and tackle loneliness, isolation, depression and disadvantage in their community are invited to apply. Funding will assist with venue hire for weekly rehearsals, payment for professional conductors, food for a shared meal after each rehearsal and other costs associated with running a choir. Each recipient also joins a 12-month intensive mentoring program.
Tania de Jong said successful grant recipients will be people or groups who are passionate about community well-being and the power of the arts, and who aspire to bring about meaningful change and a more inclusive and just society. “We are looking for the movers and shakers in their communities – people who believe we need to be more connected as a society, and who understand the power that singing has to bring people together and break down barriers,” she said.
The program benefits are well supported by evidence, with a Swinburne University evaluation finding that, of existing 'With One Voice' choir participants, 98 percent experienced less stress; 91 percent reported improved social bonds; 66 percent felt less depressed; 70 percent gained new skills for work; and 70 percent gained increased understanding and appreciation of diversity – all attributed to their participation in the choirs. The program has been named in Anthill’s SMART 100 Innovations for the past five years and received the 2016 Melbourne Award for its contribution to the community.
Three organisations were awarded grants in the last funding rounds, with new community choirs now existing in Mildura (VIC), Cumberland (NSW) and Illawarra (NSW). Tania said grants are awarded to people or organisations who want to run community choirs in areas that are culturally and economically diverse. “The choirs are a vehicle through which we level the playing field between people of all walks of life, all cultures, all socio-economic backgrounds. This is not just about people getting together to sing – it’s also about people doing life together, supporting one another, and forming a connected community together,” she said.
“We know that singing in a group can improve wellbeing, inspire personal growth and transform communities, and we’re on the lookout for people who groups who know this too and want to see how far we can take this and how much positive change we can bring about, one voice at a time,” said Tania.
Grant applications are made via the website: www.creativityaustralia.org.au