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Indepth Arts News:

"New Direction for the Arts to Territorians"
1999-08-09 until 1999-08-09
Australian Council
Sydney, , AU Australia

The Australia Council, the Federal government's principal arts funding and advisory body, will outlined a four pronged plan to foster the arts at a reception for the Northern Territory arts community. Our four new strategic priorities target the broader community as well as arts organisations and artists. The health of the arts in Australia in the new millennium depends on our ability to foster youth participation, to create global markets, to ensure the sustainability of the arts sector and to increase the value that Australians place on the arts, said Ms Jennifer Bott, General Manager of the Council.

The Council aims to make the arts more accessible, relevant, enjoyable and inspiring to all Australians by addressing the barriers that have traditionally hindered people from seeing the value of the arts in their lives.

This is the first visit to the Northern Territory by our Chair, Dr Margaret Seares and myself on behalf of the Australia Council. In addition to the reception there will be a presentation of the research findings for our Promoting the Value of the Arts Strategy on Monday 9 August 1999 in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory at 3.45pm.

The General Manager called on the Northern Territory arts community to work with the Council on this exciting initiative - the vitality of the arts here is very evident. The Australia Council has given more than $2.8 million on 76 exciting arts projects in Northern Territory over the last two years.

The reception coincides with the first meeting of the Council's Community Cultural Development Fund (CCDF) in Darwin. Staff of the Fund will meet with Northern Territory artists and potential applicants during their visit.

Recent Australia Council CCDF grants in the Territory included:

An Indigenous Community Cultural Development Officer placed at Brown's Mart in Darwin for six months to develop projects and activity with Aboriginal communities in the Katherine region and other parts of the NT in the Top End Initiative.

Textile artist Joanna Barrkman $8,340 will further develop her skills in Indonesian weaving techniques whilst in Timor, Bali and Roti to assist her community cultural development work with Indonesian communities in Australia.

Drum Drum $36,825 musicians and dancers from Papua New Guinea will travel to Darwin to conduct intensive workshops with Drum Drum members, who will gain new skills in traditional PNG music and dance.

The few remaining participants of the Wave Hill Walk Off (when Vincent Lingiari led members of his Gurindji tribe off Wave Hill Station in August 1966) will create textile art works telling their story for Daguragu Community Government Council $42,372.

Recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board grants included:

Directly addressing the problem of repatriating cultural material, accomplished Tiwi artists Maryanne Mungatopi, Janice Murray and Pedro Wonaeamirri researched and documented original Tiwi cultural material held at the South Australian Museum. The artefacts were originally collected by Charles Mountford in the 1950s. Jilamara Arts and Crafts received $30,335 to manage the project.

Championing Indigenous Australians sacred connection to the sea, the landmark exhibition Saltwater Country is touring Australia with a grant of $48,771 to Buku Larrnggay Arts. Over eighty Yirrkala bark paintings from all the clans of eastern Arnhem Land have been contributed. Didactic dreamings about the sea have never been mapped out on such a scale. The initiative is the result of environmental concerns about pollution, drift nets and over-fishing.

Tiwi Designs Aboriginal Corporation received $6,005 for a field trip to the Hermannsburg Pottery to assist in the re-establishment of Tiwi pottery.

Yothu Yindi Foundation received $61,000 for The Garma Festival of Culture held at Gulkula in Northeast Arnhem Land in June and July 1999

We have been fortunate in having the expertise of Territorians on our Funds over the years - Barbara McCarthy, Gillian Harrison, Banduk Marika and Ken Conway to name a few.

Ms Bott said that it was important for the Council to engage with communities and artists all over the country and this meeting provided an opportunity to present the Council's future directions to the Northern Territory community.

A full list of recent NT grants is available on request.

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