Funding for the Sunshine Coast arts sector sees creativity shine
  • Friday 22 May 2020
Gabrielle Quakawoot, RADF

Music, theatre, literature, visual art, screen and performance projects all featured in another highly competitive Regional Arts Development Fund grant round, where 22 creative projects were awarded a share of more than $47,500 from Sunshine Coast Council, in partnership with Arts Queensland.

Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the grants would help provide essential support for our local artists who, like so many others, had been profoundly impacted by COVID-19.

“With venues closed and most events cancelled, it has been an exceptionally challenging time for the arts sector, but retaining their capacity remains important for our region,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Through the Regional Arts Development Fund we continue to support local artists so they can continue to create new works here on the Sunshine Coast and reach new audiences near and far, whether in the digital realm or once again in the physical sense, when circumstances will allow.”

One such project is the debut production Chocolate - Queens of Soul by Black Rock Productions, led by well-known local singer Sharon Brooks, which will receive $4000 towards Creative Development.

Chocolate - Queens of Soul will pay tribute to the great soul queens of the past few decades and will feature four prominent black female singers, Andrea Kirwin, Sharon Brooks and Asabi Goodman, working closely with international artist, Quisha Wint (Toronto, Canada).

“By producing this show we are supporting the sustainable creative and career growth of local female artists, as well as building our creative thriving region,” Ms Brooks said.

Chocolate – Queens of Soul, will be presented live when public health guidelines allow.

The spotlight will also shine on Middle Eastern culture with $3000 in Creative Development funding awarded to Bellydance Sunshine Coast for a theatrical dance production entitled The Civilised Sultan, a collaboration between local ethnic dance and music groups.

The production will be set in Mesopotamia, and will take the audience on a journey through the creation of civilisation, using the story of human history and the inventiveness of fantasy through artistic avenues.

The production is planned to debut to Sunshine Coast audiences in October.

First Nations culture will also feature with $5000 being awarded to the development of a new documentary, Art of STEM, which follows local indigenous woman Gabrielle Quakawoot (pictured), on her journey of rediscovering her culture through indigenous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and her desire to share ancient knowledge with her community.

The documentary will be showcased at film festivals across Australia and internationally.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to continue its RADF partnership with local governments with an investment of $2.08 million, through Arts Queensland, for the 2019-20 fund. 

“This investment supports the delivery of hundreds of arts experiences and professional development opportunities across the state,” Ms Enoch said.

“Projects funded through RADF provide pathways for learning, contribute to the creation of jobs, foster creativity and boost cultural tourism.”

A full list of funded projects can be found on council’s website. 

Expressions of interest for the next RADF funding round are now open and will close on July 1.

To discuss your project, contact council’s RADF Liaison Officer on 07 5420 8616 and visit council’s website for more details

Image: Art of STEM, Gabrielle Quakawoot. Photo Sasha Parlett.