We are delighted to announce that Artists in Community International are finalists in the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards for arts projects we ran with street children in Nepal (2012) in collaboration wit the Unatti Foundation and Children’s Art Village.
We see these awards as an acknowledgement of the value and many benefits to individuals and communities of the arts and of artists sharing their skills with those who have limited opportunity to engage in creative practices with artists.
As artists in community we can never know how potent and life changing that work is beyond the initial experience. But we have a good idea! We know from our Australian projects – where there has been research – that lives and communities are turned around; new possibilities, new relationships, new communities and a fresh outlook on life open for participants.
The arts can be a catalyst in developing understanding as well as exchange. As Australia becomes more and more integrated with Asia, there are many possibilities for the arts to deepen relationships as well as assist in the facilitation of new relationships between our countries and cultures. We see this nomination as an especially important acknowledgement by the Australian Government of the significant contributions of the arts, and artists working in community.
Artists in Community International, through the visual and performing arts, firstly engage communities in creative and enjoyable projects – skills are learned and developed across a range of disciplines; relationships, community and individuality are encouraged and developed. We open up creative spaces and invite participants to express themselves as well as express about what is important to them. For some, this invitation to create and express can be their first ever such invitation. The potential in the voiceless being heard, the unlearned being skilled, the impoverished finding riches in the arts is limitless.
Awards such as this validate the work and we hope it encourages people to reshape their view of international community development to one with the arts in a central role. It helps to build confidence in the worthiness of supporting community arts projects run by artists in collaboration with local communities and organisations.
29 July 2013
The Honourable Tony Burke MP
Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship
Minister for the Arts
Member for Watson, NSW
Arts Minister Tony Burke today announced the finalists for the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards.
The awards recognise, celebrate and promote the significant number of Australian artists engaging in Asia, contributing to stronger, deeper and broader cultural links with Asian nations.
The 69 finalists were nominated in 14 categories: partnerships, philanthropy, Indigenous, community engagement, innovation, individual artist, small to medium arts organisations, major arts organisations, visual art, literature, theatre, dance, music, and digital and film.
The winners will be announced on Thursday 1 August.
“Australia’s engagement in Asia isn’t simply about trade, business and foreign affairs, there is a dynamic creative engagement which allows Australian art to be experienced in Asia, great works from Asia to be available here and most importantly fresh creativity which is only possible because of the way we work together.
“The event will publicly recognise Australia’s dynamic arts sector for its creative achievements in Asia.
“These inaugural awards showcase the work of Australian artists, writers, filmmakers, performance artists and arts organisations in Asia over the past 12 months.
“This event is a celebration of diversity in Australia and across the region and how making connections through art promotes understanding and appreciation of all cultures.”