Perth conductor and Melbourne soprano among 99 recipients in the latest round of funding.

Almost one hundred young artists from across the country are starting the New Year with a great deal to be happy about, as the Australia Council announces the 99 recipients of the first of this year’s ArtStart grants. The ArtStart Scheme provides up to $10,000 to recent arts graduates wanting to establish careers in their respective fields, and offers two opportunities annually for artists to apply. The highly coveted awards offer the financial resources to allow the young beneficiaries of the funding programme to establish themselves as professional artists. The Australia Council’s Executive Director of Arts Funding, Frank Panucci, said that applications for this round were received from across the country, with successful artists coming from a wide range of artistic fields, including dance, music, theatre, visual arts and literature.

Among this year’s first ArtStart recipients is Victorian Soprano Josephine Grech, a University of Melbourne graduate who will be appearing in Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria’s production of The Merry Widow in April. Josephine’s plans include travelling to Europe where she will study privately with European-based coaches, conductors, artists and directors, including fellow Australian soprano Yvonne Kenny. Josephine will also participate in an intensive German language course and undertake acting classes whilst abroad.

Grech performs Quando Men Vo from Puccini’s La Bohème

Promising choral and opera conductor Kristin Bowtell of Perth has also been named as one of this round’s recipients. Bowtell intends on travelling to New York where he will spend some weeks with the Metropolitan Opera, expanding his professional network and familiarising himself with how music is interpreted in other establishments.  Bowtell also has his sights set on Europe with plans to travel to Vienna and Geneva to work there with various conductors, with an emphasis on working with choruses and singers.

Kristin Bowtell, conductor

Other successful applicants include Indigenous dancer Joshua Pether from WA, contemporary jeweller Courtney Jackson from SA, and poets Zenobia Frost and Lorin Read from QLD and NSW respectively.

Applications for consideration for the next round of ArtStart grants are now open until March 3