Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) has opened submissions for its Ahead of the Curve commissions, for young and emerging artists of colour living around Melbourne to create new digital artworks that respond to social challenges, including COVID-19.

These commissions are aimed at young artists from diverse communities, and encourage works that show their strength and resilience in the face of adversity, explore health and wellbeing, and draw from their lived experiences.

Digital artwork - KaiLash by Amicus Atman

KaiLash by Amicus Atman is featured in the above artwork. Supplied by Victorian Government

The new digital works created in Ahead of the Curve will be presented online as part of MAV’s Diasporas platform, a series of commissions designed to “disrupt systems of power in the arts, ignite artistic practices, and represent diverse creatives and their communities”.

These commissions aim to challenge perceptions of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities as vulnerable and helpless, and explore how diversity and community can also be protective factors.

Applicants are asked to respond to one of three themes: exploring themes of strength and vulnerability, sharing narratives of adversity and resilience, or creating sanctuary through shared experience.

In addition to financial support, MAV is offering professional and creative development workshops, networking and mentoring opportunities, and production and administrative assistance to participating artists and their communities. There are 25 commissions available, together valued at $72,500.


• Empower: Solo New Works ($750): ten available, for creatives who can produce their work alone and do not need additional materials, equipment, expertise, or technical support.

• Develop: Collaborative New Works (up to $3000): ten available, for development of new works that involve at least 2 creatives and/ or require additional materials, equipment, expertise, or technical support.

• Respond: Project Response Works (up to $7000): five available, for community groups, cultural enterprises, or artist collectives to develop works involving multiple artists and/ or community members.

Submissions close Sunday 22 August, 2021. For more details visit the MAV website