In the first of two rounds of funding this year, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has put up more than $500,000 for grants in support of 25 projects. The philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency, the Cultural Fund offers grants to organisations that deliver significant development and career-sustaining opportunities for Australian writers and visual artists at all career stages.

“The Copyright Agency is proud to support Australia’s unique creative industry with these grants, which have far-reaching outcomes for our community and beyond,” said Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling.

“Copyright Agency members generously commit 1.5 percent of the agency’s revenue each year toward the Cultural Fund to benefit the Australian creative landscape. The grants champion our wide array of members – authors, journalists, publishers, visual artists and educators – ensuring they are encouraged and supported to create works that contribute substantially to the future of our cultural sector.”

Bruce Pascoe

Sydney Living Museums is among the successful applicants, awarded $10,000 to commission a new play for young people by the acclaimed Indigenous writer Bruce Pascoe. Cutter and Coota will explore the story of country, taking in early colonial Australian history as well as enduring convict and Aboriginal narratives. Pascoe’s play is set to be performed at Hyde Park Barracks in early 2020.

Melbourne Press Club has meanwhile received $25,000 for its national Michael Gordon Fellowship Program, which funds reporting projects in the field of social justice journalism both in Australia and abroad. The Fellowships are available to recognised freelance journalists working in all media, as well as to accomplished university journalism students.

Australian publisher Spineless Wonders has been awarded $5,000 for its Microflix Writers Award and Symposium, a literature-based film festival that encourages filmmakers to adapt works by Australian authors. In addition to recognising exceptional writing, the project pays authors, which includes royalty payments for any subsequent broadcast of the film based on their work within five years of its initial screening.

Other projects to have received funding include the State Library of Queensland’s Black&write! training program, a national project developed to foster an Indigenous writing community. It will receive $80,000 over three years. The Garret podcast, consisting of in-depth interviews with Australia’s most successful authors, has been awarded $14,000 to create episodes to compliment teaching resources for works by diverse writers featured by Reading Australia. Red Stitch Actors Theatre will receive $45,000 over three years for its INK New Writing Program, while a grant of $18,000 has been awarded to Red Room Poetry’s Poetic Moments Journey, which will showcase Australian poetry on public transport. The National Gallery of Victoria meanwhile receives $8,500 for a publication to accompany its upcoming exhibition of Indigenous artist Destiny Deacon.

“The latest round of funding sees the Cultural Fund and Copyright Agency continue its support of Indigenous creators and programs, with six projects focused on generating a greater understanding and engagement with Australia’s First Nations’ histories and culture,” Suckling said.

“The latest round has also funded a number of training and mentorship programs that will provide critical support and professional development for our young and emerging Australian talent. This will help them acquire knowledge and create new works that will progress their careers, encourage new thinking and add their voice to Australia’s cultural landscape.”

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund is now open for Round Two 2019 applications

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