What are the kinds of projects that Culture Bank members choose to support?
There have been so many projects funded by Culture Bank (too many to list here) but we started off with our first round that went out in August 2013. After lot’s and lot’s of lively discussion and debate, members opted to support art tours offered by Studio 19, SPATE 13 and a special project curated by the Austinmer Dance Theatre.
Our next round supported local film screenings, a local record label launch and the major expansion of a writer’s festival. More recently, Culture Bank has funded: Anne-Louise Rentell to complete a draft script of The Siren Project in preparation for development process and public showing of work in progress in July 2018. The Siren Project is the working title of a new performance work which draws narrative inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the local Aboriginal myth of the Story of the Five Islands. While quite different stories, both the indigenous and the western tale involve 6 sisters and 6 monologues which underpin this new work.
These stories have been collated through the Where Lies Beauty oral history project. Our members also decided to fund Cortex Journal a digital publication that hosts articles on science, philosophy, and culture, complimenting Wollongong’s emergence as a cultural hub. The vision is to blend thought from science, philosophy and art, especially promoting local content, writers and artists. They are inspired by the diversity of visions present across the arts and believe such an approach can be usefully applied to address political and social issues. Hoping to foster creative approaches to collaboration, especially across disciplines and schools of thought, and will publish creative and critical writings, as well as illustration, photography, and video. Funding was provided to support the creation of original artworks to celebrate the Omnibus poetry project and to gain more publicity for Culture Bank.
There will also be a public launch with poetry readings and a Culture Bank sign-up event. Funding will see a limited edition of art posters designed and printed, that includes Omnibus poems by Ali Jane Smith with original artwork by local artist Tania Maria Mastroianni. A poster and launch is a powerful way to collaboratively develop and extend the life of the project; while also acknowledging our current Culture Bank members contribution, while looking to gain more (much needed) support from our community.
A financial contribution was made by our members to encourage the development of a project called Elsie and The Bird.
This performance is a character-driven circus show that explores mental health, sexuality and gender. The individuals involved work professionally in both circus and mental health in the region, and are making a circus work which invites local audiences into this discussion. As artists, they are using their experience and expertise in circus to create a profoundly physical language – through aerial choreography and contemporary clown – which explores the overwhelming feelings of isolation and anxiety of a brilliant young person called ‘Elsie’.
Most recently, Culture Bank members decided to fund Girls Rock! Wollongong who will bring a new group of young women, trans and non-binary folk onto the stage (literally). The week-long camp gives participants the chance to learn an instrument, form a band, and perform at the end of the week. Tutors are local musicians and campers also pay a fee to attend, to ensure musicians are paid. Culture Bank members voted to provide money to cover scholarships to attend this event. ROCK ON WOLLONGONG!
Culture Bank members were also passionate about funding Lexicon Innovations for Parallel Lives, an experimental contemporary play that challenges the construction of meaning between spectator, performance and text. The work is new and it attempts to use one dramatic text to produce two very different stories, that will be understood at the end of the performance night.
Thirdly, Culture Bank members decided to financially back Baby Teeth Journal in it’s creation of a print anthology of emerging and previously unpublished local writers. The ‘Never Heard of Them’ Anthology will engage directly with the local arts community through a series of workshops and a launch event. While teaching valuable editing skills that will benefit participants in the future. Also while showcasing previously unheard voices, the anthology will engage with the wider community and share life experiences, between people who would otherwise never have meet.
So far we’ve given away over $60,000 +++ to these and many more innovative projects and we’re eager to do more! You can make that happen by joining us today or getting others to sign up!