13 May 2021


Artsource is pleased to announce that the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, has approved funding of $620,397.00 for the Creative-Connected project through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
Creative Connected is a one to two-year program of exhibitions, workshops and arts events and a livestreamed Festival that responds to connecting in the new normal and how Artsource and its members will embrace the future. Artsource has reimagined and developed new ways of presenting its programmes to maximise reach and access to audiences in metro, regional and remote areas – through Visualive, a livestreaming capacity.
This program is inclusive, diverse, adventurous, fun, and educational, addressing core concerns of health and wellbeing, economic sustainability, social cohesion and support of young, emerging and developing artists.
The impact of COVID has been challenging for the Arts. In March 2020, Artsource, closed the doors of the Old Customs House (OCH) to the public including the Atrium, its exhibition and events venue. Events were cancelled for a period of 4-5 months and were slow to return in the second half of the year, resulting in a significant dip in revenue for Artsource. Even more significant but difficult to measure, was a loss of opportunity and income for artists, and access to the arts for audiences.
The drop in income for Artsource has meant that as an organisation, Artsource has not only been unable during COVID to open the gallery space and hold a full program of activities and it has been running the organisation sustainably but on reduced staffing levels and with less resourcing and support for artists at this crucial time.
However, Artsource has taken this opportunity to re-imagine its’ future direction. This has included consulting with Artsource members, including tenant members, regional representatives, and a wide literature review of recent research on the visual arts trends globally and locally.
Artsource obtained support for this project from
>      Colin Walker – Director Art Gallery of Western Australia
>      Rob Didcoe – Executive Director, Culture and the Arts (WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture)
>      Hon. Josh Wilson MP – Member for Fremantle
>      David North – North Midlands Project
>      Tim Burns, Artist


The aims of our project support our Vision which is ‘Creative Connected Change’ and meets objectives within our broad strategic goals outlined in our new Strategic Plan 2020-2024.
As a response to COVID-19, Artsource has
envisaged a one to two-year program of exhibitions, workshops and arts events and a Festival that responds to current needs and demands of artists and the community, and
reimagined and developed new ways of presenting its programmes and opportunities, to maximise reach and access to audiences in metro, regional and remote areas, and beyond to Australia through livestreaming capacity.
The project has three components

  • A series of workshops and professional learning opportunities series for artists and public that include online access to resources
  • A two week Creative-Connected Festival of visual and other arts, exhibitions, workshops, events and artist talks
  • A ‘Visualive’ program - live streaming of selected festival events, workshops, artists at work forums, artist talks, professional learning etc


This project contributes to employment creation of 8 substantive roles over 2 years and numerous short or fixed term positions for workshop presenters, curators, speakers, and support staff.
Significant roles will include

  • Festival curator / director
  • Videographer
  • Filmmaker
  • Senior educator
  • LMS manager / learning designer
  • Digital Media Officer
  • Digital Marketing Officer
  • Livestreaming Events Officer 

In addition, there will be numerous paid contracts available for artists, presenters and curators to develop and deliver a wide range of workshops, mentoring programs and critique groups for developing artists, as well as school holiday programs and arts engagement activities for the public.

  • The festival will provide paid roles for community consultants and seed funding for artists exhibiting, with further opportunities to attract additional project funding for exhibitions.
  • The program will involve numerous volunteers which provides valuable work experiences. The project also provides significant work for allied business community.

This project provides opportunities for creation and presentation of new and adventurous work by emerging and established artists, demonstrating impacts of change, including opportunities for regional exchange and diverse representation of CaLD communities and Indigenous leaders.


The significant long-term effect in terms of economic sustainability that this project will bring is through the recording of workshops and scalability of the educational component through provision of access to online materials, video and resources. These can be adapted to a variety of niche target markets such as the K-12 educator market, the business PD market, artists in regional locations, arts organisations, tourism and others.


Visualive provides COVID-safe opportunities for artists, supports new roles for arts and allied workers, provides stimulus to local business and economy, provides professional development opportunities to artists everywhere, links metro to regional and remote artists, and beams the creativity and exceptional uniqueness of Western Australian talent out to Australia.
The Visualive program is a high-quality program that provides opportunity for cross-artform collaborations, bringing together the finest creative talent in both the areas of visual and performance art, and digital multimedia including video, photography and digital online streaming.


I wish to acknowledge the board members who were involved in crafting this proposal, particularly Will Axten, Debbie Gilchrist, and Tim Burns who provided a letter of support. This proposal would not have been as strong without the creative ideas freely given by the many Artsource members who contributed. We are grateful for the endorsement of our high-profile supporters, Colin Walker (Director, AGWA), David North (North Midlands Project) and by our government supporters Rob Didcoe (DLGSC) and the Honourable Josh Wilson MP (Fremantle).
We unreservedly thank the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications – Office for the Arts.

Stay tuned as further developments and information about programs and opportunities emerge over the coming months. This is an exciting time to be a member of Artsource!
With the warm glow of anticipation,
on behalf of the Artsource board,
I extend our heartiest thanks and best wishes to all,

Margaret Teusner

Artsource Chair



Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative


Events at Old Customs House are funded by the Department of Local Government,
Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) Culture and the Arts WA.