Creating more opportunities to produce and present great work
Creative people are the heart, soul and driver of the creative industries. Victoria is rich with talented people who generate new ideas, push boundaries and bring exciting new work to life.
Our creators are diverse and innovative. Whether provocative or familiar, traditional or experimental, collaborative or solo, pure or cross-disciplinary, new creative content is fundamental to the culture, identity and creative capacity of the state.
Creating new work can be challenging. Investment in time and materials is high and commercial rewards uncertain. Innovation, experimentation and the possibility of failure, critical to creative development, are not always compatible with sustainable practice. Opportunities for career development can be difficult to recognise, access or devote time to.
The Victorian Government provides substantial support for individual practitioners through Creative Victoria and Film Victoria programs and is committed to do more, particularly when it comes to investing in ambitious works of scale, supporting professional development and building the capacity and profile of Victoria's Aboriginal creative sector.
Under Creative State we are delivering new programs worth $6.35 million over four years to back our creative talent, support the bold and ambitious and create significant new works of scale and impact. These will enable Victorian creators to devote enough time and effort to their craft, take their careers to the next level and continue to renew and reinvigorate Victoria's cultural landscape.
Learn about the progress of Creative State Actions 1-5, which are focused on backing Victoria's creative talent.
A suite of initiatives to strengthen the practice of Aboriginal creative in Victoria and deepen engagement with our unique Aboriginal culture. An action plan, developed with the guidance of Aboriginal creative practitioners and cultural organisations, will deliver across key areas:
- expanding Creative Victoria's Aboriginal Professional Development Program
- increasing opportunities for the broader community to engage with Aboriginal cultural content
- increasing Aboriginal training and employment in the creative sector, and
- developing sector leadership
The development of an Aboriginal action plan is underway, drawing on extensive feedback from the Creative State consultations and using a co-design process with representatives from across Victoria's Aboriginal creative sector.
While this important work is happening, numerous new activities have been supported to strengthen the sector, develop the careers and practice of Aboriginal creatives, and raise the profile of Aboriginal arts, culture and creative product – locally and internationally. These include:
- Launching Yalingwa, a groundbreaking new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual art initiative to be delivered partnership with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and TarraWarra Museum of Art. Includes a major biennial exhibitions, a $60,000 artist fellowship and new curatorial positions.
- Supporting the Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival, presented for the first time in May 2017, an initiative of the City of Melbourne.
- Supporting Ballarat based Aboriginal art collective, Pitcha Makin Fellas to present their large-scale projection work Open Your Eyes at the 2016 LUMINA Light Festival. The work was originally created for White Night Melbourne 2015 where it was projected onto the Royal Exhibition Building.
- Delivering a capacity building program to promote the work of Victorian Aboriginal fashion designers and provide pathways into the fashion industry. This included:
- support and mentoring for the Global Indigenous Runway Project at the 2017 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF);
- support and mentoring for three Victorian Aboriginal fashion designers to develop their collections and get them runway-ready for showcase at VAMFF; and
- support for a collaboration between award-winning Gunditjmara and Torres Strait Islander artist Lisa Waup and Melbourne fashion designer Ingrid Verner to create a new collection of garments and accessories for showcasing at VAMFF and retail sale at Craft Victoria.
- Enabling two emerging Victorian Aboriginal curators and one Aboriginal exhibition team leader to participate in the Venice Biennale and the Australia Council's Biennale Professional Development program.
- Supporting the National Indigenous Dance Forum in Melbourne in May 2017, enabling regional Victorians to join 250 Indigenous dancers from across Australia at this key industry event.
- Supporting a transition of the British Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative leadership program, ACCELERATE, to a Victorian alumni-led program.
- Supporting the public and schools programming associated with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art's groundbreaking Sovereignty exhibition.
Support for creative practitioners to undertake sustained periods of intensive creative development, research and experimentation. Open to practitioners from different disciplines and at different career stages, it will enable the production of significant works and career advancement.
Following sector consultation, including a survey of 500 local independent practitioners, the Creator's Fund was launched in late June 2017.
The program responds to one of the biggest challenges faced by Victorian creative practitioners: the lack of time to devote to their creative practice, particularly research and development.
The Creators Fund will support creative practitioners across all disciplines, and at all career stages, to undertake an extended period of creative development, research or experimentation in order to create cutting edge - and career defining - new work.
The program will provide grants in the realm of $20,000 - $50,000 (the equivalent of a $100,000 p/a salary) to support individuals or creative collectives to work intensively for a period of between three and six months. In total, $1.27 million will be provided to Victorian creators over the next two years.
The Creators Fund will support the research and development phase, giving practitioners the time to experiment and lay the groundwork for innovation.
Recipients will also be offered the opportunity to participate in lab-style events where they can share information, network with other recipients and present their concepts and ideas to potential partners, collaborators and key sector representatives.
Expressions of interest for the first round closed on 7 September 2017.
A program to commission works on a scale beyond the capacity of existing Creative Victoria programs. Commissioned works will be ambitious and groundbreaking, with the power to inspire others, generate widespread audience and community engagement and increase tourism to the state.
This action has been piloted with the commissioning of the Silo Art Trail in the Wimmera–Mallee region in Victoria's west. When complete, the project will create an outdoor art gallery stretching 200km and linking six of the state's smallest towns. Artists have been working with locals, including traditional owners, in Brim, Patchewollock, Sheep Hills, Rupanyup, Lascelles and Rosebery to create large-scale silo artworks that celebrate the people and stories of these small communities.
Led by the Yarriambiack Shire Council, this ambitious project involves all three tiers of government and is delivered in partnership with GrainCorp, who have donated the silos and provided technical and safety support.
Already attracting tourists and national media attention, with local businesses reporting an upturn, the Silo Art Trail demonstrates that through partnerships with the private sector, local, state and federal governments and artists, works of this scale and ambition can deliver significant outcomes for the community.
Looking to 2017-18 and beyond, a co-design process is underway with members of the Creative State Advisory Board and other sector representatives to refine the design of the program, with the intention to support the creation of more high impact, game-changing projects across a range of artforms and creative practices.
Image: Sheep Hills Silo by artist Adnate. Photo: Hamish Kirkpatrick
A program to enable Victorian practitioners to gain industry experience or undertake professional development opportunities to further their practice and careers. This may include training, mentoring, secondments, residencies and other career advancement opportunities.
This action was considered at the February 2017 meeting of the Creative State Advisory Board (CSAB). It is being developed in conjunction with Action 6: Business acceleration to take advantage of the complementary nature of these actions.
A targeted program is being developed with the objective of putting creative individuals and enterprises on a clear path to sustainability and growth. A service provider will be engaged in the second half of 2017 to refine and deliver the program. The program will be open for applications in 2018.
Renewed funding for professional development initiatives delivered by Film Victoria that support opportunities for Victorian screen practitioners to develop and increase practical skills and industry knowledge.
Film Victoria has increased the number and diversity of professional development opportunities for a range of screen practitioners across the film, television and digital games sectors.
Programs and initiatives delivered under this action include:
- Professional Attachment Program – 26 practitioners commenced their attachments in 2016/17.
- Key Talent Production Placements – 32 placement opportunities for directors, writers and producers, as well as post-production, animation and crew roles were provided in 2016/17.
- Key Talent Company Placements – four Victorian production companies have been funded to engage early to mid-career practitioners to work on a range of projects over a period of 6-12 months.
- Games Professional Placements – two Victorian games companies have been funded to engage early career practitioners to increase their skills and gain professional experience.
Film Victoria established two initiatives for women working in Victoria's film, television and digital games sectors:
- Women in Leadership Development Initiative was established in partnership with the Natalie Miller Fellowship. This initiative offers experienced screen professionals the opportunity to enhance their business skills and potential to be future industry leaders and influencers. Ten women were awarded fellowships through the initiative in 2016 and 2017.
- Women in Games Fellowship – This initiative seeks to address the low representation of women working professionally in the Victorian games industry. Ten women were awarded games fellowships through the program in 2016 and 2017.
Film Victoria has also provided a range of one-off opportunities for practitioners working in television:
- Film Victoria partnered with NITV on a new Indigenous comedy initiative, Bust Up, to encourage and increase comedic screen content created by Aboriginal Victorians. Bust Up provided nine Indigenous screen practitioners with the opportunity to develop their comedy concepts into short form narrative content.
- Film Victoria secured places for two female Victorian practitioners to attend MediaXchange's TV Drama Series Exchange program which ran in LA in March 2017. The participants received a tailored schedule of meetings with showrunners, writers, producers, and network executives to develop their knowledge, contacts and business skills in the international marketplace.
- A partnership between Film Victoria and Screen Australia secured British producer and writer Simon Mirren (Versailles, Criminal Minds and Without a Trace) for a Writer in Residence TV Drama Initiative. Using the 'writer's room' approach, the initiative gave three successful teams the opportunity to work with Simon to develop their television drama concepts, while a further six writers had individual consultations with him.
- Fellowships to back women in screen industry
- New comedy program for Indigenous talent
- New TV writing program brings best in the business to Victoria
Image: Producer John Battsek (One Day in September) and director Ezra Edelman (O.J.: Made in America) talk with journalist Tracey Holmes at Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 2017. Funding will see AIDC held in Melbourne until 2020. Photo: Teresa Noble