Capacity building, facilitating connections and unlocking the potential of regional Australia sits at the heart of the new ambitious program titled Local Giants.
The program is a direct response to the feedback from regional communities, who saw the need to create new models of working, and elevating the work done by regional artist and art workers.
Local Giants is the result of extensive consultation by Performing Lines, Regional Arts Australia and Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia with local communities to develop new opportunities.
In a joint statement, they explained: ‘Local Giants aims to resource these centres; allowing them to realise their ambitions of nurturing local arts, commissioning new works, investigating ambitious presentation models and promoting social cohesion through a thriving local sector.’
Among the opportunities planned are a Regional Producers Career Development Program, Regional Artist Residencies and New Regional Work Co-Commissions.
With total funding received of $736,372 ($400,000 from the RISE Fund and $336,672 through Regional Arts Fund Strategic Recovery Program), Local Giants will be delivered across 2021–2023 in partnership with regional venues across three states: South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland
The program is expected to drive local employment and create opportunities. Federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP stating that ‘funding through RISE alone will support the creation of more than 270 jobs in the regions.’
In its first phase Local Giants will provide opportunities for 72 artists, arts workers and producers, across the three residencies and producer platform, to cultivate the development of up to three new regional works.
Country Arts SA hosted the first of three artist residencies for 12 local artists on 19 – 21 November, a three-day two-night Regional Artist Retreat with industry mentors and facilitators.
Further two residencies will be held at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) in NSW, and a partner organisation to be announced in QLD.
The upcoming Regional Producers platform seeks to build communities of regional artists and regionally based producers, and connect them with venues and collaborators. EOIs will open on 17 January 2022.