CALD, CARM and collected: fostering the future artists of Australia

Leaders of Australia’s foremost arts companies run by and with culturally and linguistically diverse young people, speak about their role in the arts ecology.
CALD. Image is of a large group of people some standing, some sitting on the ground, from Sweatshop, a Western Sydney-based literary movement.

There are several arts companies across Australian cities working with young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) backgrounds – Sweatshop, CuriousWorks, Outer Urban Projects to name just a few. Each of these companies work largely with young people from CALD backgrounds, and are often situated within culturally-rich suburbs. 

In this article ArtsHub speaks with their CEOs and artistic directors to find out why this work is necessary. How do these companies fit within the wider arts ecology? And given that over 50% of the Australian population is now culturally diverse, do mainstream arts companies have more to do in representing the populations they serve?

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Dr Görkem Acaroğlu is a theatre director, writer and dramaturg, an interdisciplinary artist, educator and diversity consultant. She has over 25 years experience making all forms of theatre, privileging marginalised and lesser heard perspectives and artists. She has worked as Arts Participation Manager at City of Melbourne, Program Producer at Fed Square, Art and Performance Lecturer at Deakin University and Artistic Director and Programmer of The Mechanics Institute in Brunswick from 2013-2017 when her theatre company, Metanoia Theatre, won a tender to convert the then hall-for-hire into a contemporary arts space.