Creatives make final play for grants

18 April 2023

In its inaugural year Arts Impact WA awarded two $100,000 grants. Now six finalists will make their pitch for a major boost to their work – and you can watch it all unfold at a gala event. 

Arts Impact WA launched in November 2021 with a vision to make a real and positive difference in the State’s arts community. 

The premise is simple, with the philanthropic collective encouraging smaller donors to make a big difference – 100 donors give $1000 each which is then pooled to give artists a significant boost to their creative coffers. 

In its inaugural year, Arts Impact WA awarded two $100,000 grants, to Reclaim the Void – Vivienne Robertson and Cinefest Oz Broome Festival, with four other finalists awarded $10,000 grants. 

Now, six more finalists representing a range of creative ideas, from giant animatronic puppets to youth opera, are competing for the big bucks.  

Arts Impact WA Chair Paul Chamberlain says the aim is to back courageous and talented local artists and organisations creating ambitious and unique projects that benefit our community. 

“With high-impact grants of $100k, we’re supporting unfunded excellence at a grassroots level to help create real impact,” he says. “Small to medium organisations are one of the most important sources of cultural and artistic diversity, as well as an incredibly vibrant and innovative part of the sector.” 

A 12-member panel assesses the initial applications and then whittles them down to a shortlist. These applicants are asked to complete a full-length proposal, including financials, and then complete an online Q and A session with interested donors so they can find out more about the project prior to the grant awards night.

Competition is just as tough the second time around, with the six 2023 finalists preparing their final pitches for donors at a gala dinner on 3 May (scroll down to find out how you can win tickets to the event). We don’t envy them the task of picking the winners. 

Young hip-hop artists will be nurtured through Now Sounds Port Hedland. Photo supplied

Now Sounds Port Hedland – Community Arts Network WA (CANWA) 

This community-driven project is all about uniting youth from First Nations and intercultural backgrounds through a shared love of music, dance, film, performance and media. 

Established artists from Perth will come together with regional artists for three creative residencies to teach participants to write hip-hop beats, as well as rap and dance. They will also receive professional development in photography and videography. 

Combining creativity and technology, Now Sounds proposes a range of artistic, social and community outcomes. Youth will work on small-scale performances that build confidence and capability, leading up to Port Hedland’s North West Festival where they will perform alongside national and international acts.  

The Little Prince’ will be given full voice as an opera Photo supplied

The Little Prince, Freeze Frame Opera 

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye.”The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Expéry

The beloved story of a young prince travelling across the universe, sharing his observations and experiences, has sold more than 140 million copies since it was first published in 1943. 

With a chorus of more than 40 children performing alongside opera stars Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Rachelle Durkin, Freeze Frame Opera and WA Young Voices are planning to bring the story to operatic life in November. 

It is the first time Rachel Portman’s adaptation will be performed in WA, with school-aged singers given the chance to experience the thrill of creating and staging a youth opera. 

Creatura – A World of Story, Theaker von Ziarno 

A huge fire-breathing dragon draws you into Creatura (pictured top), an original outdoor theatre production featuring animatronics, music, circus, digital animation and a cast of regional artists, including young drummers nurtured through the Blood Beats indigenous hip-hop program. 

Produced by Creality, First Nations narrators tell historical stories specific to the place Creatura is staged, all set to an original soundtrack. Written and produced by regional artists, it celebrates “the best in humanity at the hardest of times”.  

After premiering at the 2024 Gascoyne Travelling Arts Festival, encompassing six remote locations over six weeks, Creality proposes to tour Creatura seasonally in the Gascoyne, in WA and overseas.  

Kimberley creatives will strut their stuff in a celebration of fashion. Photo supplied

Skutta – Celebrating Kimberley fashion and creative fashions, Nagula Jarndu 

Meaning to strut and getting dressed up to impress, Skutta is a celebration of the artistic talents of the Kimberley and its First Nations communities. 

The outdoor runway event will be held on the Broome Town Jetty, making the most of the stunning location, while skills development workshops will be held across the region, including the Dampier Peninsula, Kununurra and Halls Creek. 

With artists hit hard by COVID cancellations and floods, Skutta aims to build a sustainable model that increases the capacity of First Nations creatives to bring their visions to life in the region.  

Revivification asks some big questions about life after death. Image supplied

Revivification – Bio-robotic and sound art: Guy Ben-ary, Nathan Thompson & Stuart Hodgetts 

What if death isn’t the end but the start of a new beginning? Revivification is a multi-layered project incorporating cutting-edge technology that will make us question our future. 

The great composer “Alvin Lucier” is offered the chance to transcend the mere mortal as a surrogate performer – an artwork biologically connected to him. Challenging the notion of human evolution, Lucier will be given a permanent material presence that continues to create new art and new stories long after his physical body has given up the ghost. 

Revivification explores what it means to be human in the 21st century and aims to appeal to audiences with interests as diverse as ethics and innovation, music and robotics.   

Step into an Imaginary Friend World. Photo supplied

Imaginary Friend Archive & Imaginary Friend World, Danielle Freakley 

Imaginary friends are like backup social generators we call on whenever needed, perhaps never more so than during the isolation of the pandemic.  

This project uses artificial intelligence (AI) in Extended Reality (SR) systems to create imaginary friends based on humans, who are drawn and submitted in the WA Museum via touchscreens. They will come to life in an Imaginary Friend World after the imaginary friends of others interact through AI.  

The work will archive and embed our past and present through community relationships and unseen histories, with a psychologist ensuring each imaginary friend’s inclusion adheres to ethical principles.  

The Arts Impact WA Awards Night 2023 will be held at The Rechabite, 3 May 2023, bookings via humanitix

Want to win tickets to the the Arts Impact WA Awards Night?

Arts Impact WA is giving away five double passes to their Grant Awards night on
Wednesday May 3 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at The Rechabite, 224 William St, Northbridge
The ticket includes one free drink and share platters.

To be in the running to win, please email your name and the name of your guest, and a contact phone number to by noon (WA time) on Monday 1 May.

Winners will be emailed to say they have won and their names will be on the door before the event.

Pictured top: Creatura will breathe magic into the Gascoyne. Photo: Anton Blume

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Author —
Julie Hosking

A journalist with more words to her name than she can count, Julie Hosking has worked for newspapers, magazines and online publications in Melbourne and Perth. She has been a news editor, travel editor, features editor, arts editor and, for one terrifying year, business editor, before sanity prevailed and she landed in her happy place - magazines. If pushed (literally), she favours the swing.

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