While their doors may be temporarily closed, ten of Victoria’s celebrated creative organisations are embarking on a journey to become more inclusive in a move to build a fairer – and stronger – creative sector for all Victorians.
Now in its second year, the Fair Play initiative is a Victorian Government backed program designed to improve access and representation in the arts across employment, leadership and public participation.
Participants include organisations Arena Theatre in Bendigo, Malthouse Theatre, children’s theatre-makers Polyglot, dance company Chunky Move, and Victoria’s peak body for Aboriginal music Songlines. Museums Victoria, Geelong Art Gallery and Heide Museum of Modern Art are also taking part, as are two of the state’s most popular festivals Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
The six-month program, delivered by Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS), will be led by creative practitioner mentors who have lived experience and connections to the communities that the program focuses on, drawing from first-hand experience to help organisations meet their equity goals through tailored mentoring, training and support.
Mentors will work closely with the organisations to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for greater engagement with, employment of, and leadership from First Peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and deaf and disabled Victorians.
Expert knowledge drives the program which has been developed with training partners including Koorie Heritage Trust, Arts Access Victoria, Boon Wurrung Foundation and Wurundjeri Tribal Council.
To extend the impact of the program beyond the participating organisations, videos and other resources will be shared via the Creative Equity Toolkit, a free online resource supported by Creative Victoria.
Fair Play was introduced last year to ensure that arts organisations that receive government funding better reflect and serve the diversity of the Victorian community, and participating organisations reported a raft of positive inclusion outcomes.