9 April 2021
Achievements 2021: First Quarter
With a few days to rest over the Easter break, it's been a good opportunity to take a breath, to reflect, and to share what has been achieved in the first quarter of 2021.
We commenced the year with renewed hope after a successful meeting with the Acting Executive Director of the Department for Culture and the Arts, Rob Didcoe, and senior policy staff. The new vision and direction outlined in the Strategic Plan had been widely endorsed by various high-profile Arts leaders prior to the meeting, and it was well received by Rob and the others. As a result, we were advised that “the sunset clause for Artsource could be lifted now” and opened the door to submit a proposal for funding.
We were also encouraged to apply for other funds, as the AOIP triennial funding round will not be open for another two years. We ‘took one for the team’ by acknowledging that previous funding opportunities had been missed and that Artsource needed to have a clear stop / go plan. Hence, we also received and have heeded, the strong message that: support for Artsource would depend on whether we applied for other funding opportunities and sources of funds and maintained a clear focus on our new direction and management strategies.
We rolled up our sleeves and got going.
First off, was our Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) application titled ‘Creative-Connected’; a proposal configured to meet the funding brief and Artsource’s context. 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 may 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 proposed program generates significant employment opportunities. It includes workshops and professional development, and a Festival of short exhibitions, showcases and many other events. The festival engages event managers, artists, curators, presenters, musicians and includes exhibitions, artist talks, workshops and regional exchange. The program will provide opportunities for artists to promote work, and to receive payments to help sustain practices. It will provide substantial employment for artists and related industries.
With a total project cost of $1,073,210, our grant amount requested is $620,397. We are anticipating news of our application this month or next.
Straight off the back of our RISE application we received our formal invitation to apply for DLSGC funding though the Strategic Initiatives fund. This provides core funding for operational staff to activate the Old Customs House, the Atrium and maintain the studio leases, including funding for a lead role to specifically to operationalize and implement the Strategic Plan.
STRENGTHENING AND ADAPTING ORGANISATIONS
Hot on the heels of this, was our application to Lotterywest for Strengthening and Adapting Organisations funding. This proposal has two core elements
ICT infrastructure and services
Physical refitting of spaces in the Old Customs House
This proposal provides an ICT strategy for the organisation to better integrate systems, and the ICT capacity throughout the organisation. This will also include redevelopment and upgrade of the Artsource website and linked sites such as the Artist gallery, Indigenous artist gallery, and ArtLease gallery. This proposal includes plans to implement a Learning Management System, includes plans for an online ‘community knowledge resource’ and shared facilities that artists can use via a member’s reading and resource room. This will include provision of computers with the capacity for video editing, large format printing, and photocopier. It provides IT hardware and equipment for offices, and mobile technologies that will facilitate gallery sales and display. The proposal provides funds for renewed furnishings and fittings for offices and communal spaces.
With a total project cost of $2,176,420 our grant request is for $1,235,710. It may take several months to hear the outcome of this application.
We are currently working on grant applications that align with our Strategic Plan for:
Lotterywest Building Communities grant
Program Stream: Community Connection (Arts and Culture).
Groups: Young people (15—24)
Estimated proposal total cost $1,816,700 with estimated grant request $884,500
These applications are in train and we will provide more updates on these soon.
Creative ideas are invited for:
> Lotterywest / DLGSC Creative Communities COVID-19 Recovery Program
> The Creative Communities – Residency category provides for short term artist-in-residence projects that run for a minimum of four weeks.
> Either $30,000 for residency or $80,000 for collaboration
The program encourages community connection through local initiatives that strengthen community wellbeing and encourage people to reconnect after a period of physical distancing.
Projects are located within regional remote WA
Creative Ideas are sought for this application:
Please read the guidelines and project description HERE.
Please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know whether you would like to be involved in preparing the grant application.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCY GRANT
Artsource is applying for a DLGSC U-15K grant for an Artist in Residency.
This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the occupancy of the Old Customs House at 8 Phillimore Street, Fremantle, by the Artists’ Foundation of Western Australia Limited, trading as Artsource: The Artist’s Agency of WA, formerly known as the Fremantle Arts Foundation. Old Customs House is an important part of the history of customs operations in Western Australia. It is aesthetically and historically linked with Fremantle's maritime history and is one of a number of important buildings built at the tum-of-the-century associated with port and maritime operations.
The purpose of the residency is to undertake a six-week research and creative development project resulting in a theatrical historic promenade and tour, that elucidates and enlivens the event celebrating 35 years of occupancy of the Old Customs House by Artsource. The historical tour will not only explore this iconic landmark and its’ relevance to Fremantle and the state of Western Australia, but it will also narrate the history of Artsource and the relationship of the Arts to Fremantle.
Our proposed Artist in Residence is Paul Rowe, an actor, singer and performer well known for his roles at many iconic Fremantle Venues, including Customs House, PSAS, The Roundhouse and Fremantle Prison.
Paul has also been engaged in a volunteer role as an Arts Ambassador. This brief is to bring together performing and visual arts, storytelling and historical theatre and coordinate artists from different art forms, to celebrate the history of the Old Customs House and the story of Artsource, for its 35th Anniversary Celebrations in June 2021. This may involve an exhibition and or event(s).
Our funding application to the DLGSC has been approved!
This is a major break-through in the rebuilding of confidence in Artsource and the relationship with the DLGSC. It is a validation from our funders that we are heading in the right direction.
As further validation, all of our grant applications have been endorsed / refereed by the Executive Director of the DCA, Rob Didcoe and by Colin Walker, Executive Director of the Art Gallery of WA.
Colin Walker in particular has expressed clear support for Artsource and the intention to work with us to ensure the promotion and support of Western Australian artists and the building of WA Art as a cornerstone of AGWA’s collection.
IN CONCLUSION AND THANKS
This has been an intensely busy time, with board members going above and beyond in terms of their time and commitment. I wish to acknowledge and applaud, the tireless efforts of each board member. Artsource board members are volunteers, employed in full time work or other occupations, giving freely of their spare time. Their efforts are a testament to their conviction, belief in, and valuing of the arts and Artsource.
We recognise that for members, it can be difficult to live with uncertainty and ambiguity, and at times it may seem that nothing is happening. Be assured that it is and that we are doing everything we can to ensure the future position, relevance and longevity of Artsource, for this generation and the next. While there is still much to be done, we look back at what we have achieved, and look forward with hope and optimism to the possibilities that lie ahead for the second quarter of the year.
With warm wishes
These projects have been funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) Culture and the Arts WA.