The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that it will deliver $6.6 million in aid of 183 artistic projects in its latest grants round. These projects include those intended for career development, regional touring and opportunities abroad. The Australia Council also acknowledged that a further 271 projects were peer assessed and found to be of high merit and deserving of support, but “could not be funded within the scope of the budget”. This latest grants round saw a total of 1353 applications.

Georgia Scott, Peggy Polias, Josephine Macken and Bree van Reyk of the Sydney Conservatorium’s Composing Women program 2018/19. Photo © University of Sydney

“We continue to receive more high quality applications than we are currently able to support, which highlights the incredible opportunity that exists to invest in Australia’s rich creative talent and the development of our nation,” said Frank Panucci, Australia Council Executive Director of Grants and Engagement.

“The Australia Council will continue to advocate for increased investment in the arts throughout 2019 and beyond, recognising the crucial role of the arts in contributing to Australia’s rapidly growing creative economy, as well as the social and cultural success of our nation. Our research shows the arts help promote empathy and socially cohesive communities, in addition to enriching the lives of all who experience them,” Panucci added.

The Australian Music Centre is among the 183 successful applicants. It receives $100,000 for a two-year program of market development for Australian jazz in Europe, to be delivered in partnership with Sounds Australia.

The Four Winds Festival has meanwhile received $69,744 to support its 2019 outing. Located in Bermagui, New South Wales, its move from biennial to annual festivals, and the appointment of Artistic Director James Crabb in 2016, has seen it become a significant player in the arts scene.

In terms of funding for specific projects, Chamber Made Opera has been given $42,000 for the final development, rehearsal and presentation of a new work called Diaspora, to be premiered at this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival. Inspired by Greg Egan’s science fiction novel of the same name, it explores the positive effects of a close relationship with artificial intelligence.

In particularly exciting news, $50,000 has been made available for the presentation of fully staged productions of new chamber operas composed by Bree van Reyk, Josephine Macken, Peggy Polias and Georgia Scott. Part of the Sydney Conservatorium’s Composing Women Program, their new works will be performed by Sydney Chamber Opera at Carriageworks in early 2020.

Other successful applicants in this latest grants round include composer and violinist Erkki Veltheim, who has received $17,000 to produce his first solo album to be released on the Room40 label. Adelaide Festival has meanwhile received $17,000 towards the commissioning of new work by Veltheim and pianist and composer Andrea Keller, as well as new arrangements of work by Emily Wurramara and Yirrmal Marika to premiere at this year’s Chamber Landscapes series.

Individuals who have received grants include classical vocalist Kelsey Cotton, who has been given $10,000 to assist with study at the prestigious Royal College of Music Stockholm. Also travelling abroad, Ruth Blythman has received $10,000 to undertake a professional development program in opera and management in Berlin, while incoming Queensland Music Festival CEO Joel Edmondson has been given $15,000 to support his participation in an intensive leadership development program at Harvard in May. Cellist and sound artist Anthea Caddy has been given $13,870 to support a site specific composition to be performed at the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam.