A vibrant and creative community

April 19, 2024 BY

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan. Photo: SUPPLIED

At the heart of every thriving community is a vibrant arts and culture scene where creatives of all kinds are embraced, connected, and encouraged.

They are given the tools, venues, and opportunities to thrive, sharing their work to inspire others and unite us in our humanity.

Here on the Bellarine, we have a vibrant creative community.

Year-round we host thought-provoking exhibitions, captivating performances, and uplifting live music in a region that’s home to artists and makers of all kinds.

We recognise the profound importance of nurturing this creative spirit and providing a platform for local talent to flourish.

That’s why Council offers Artists & Creatives Professional Development Grants on an annual basis.

With grants of up to $2,000 available, we aim to provide our local artists with the resources they need to explore, innovate, and grow in their artistic endeavours.

These grants are not just about financial support; they represent a firm belief in the transformative power of the arts to uplift, inspire, and unite our community.

Whether it’s attending a masterclass, participating in a workshop, or engaging in structured mentoring, we want to empower our artists to reach new heights of creative excellence.

Last year, we awarded nine of these kinds of grants, with recipients using the funds to attend industry conferences, artist-in-residence programs, and inclusion and diversity training to name a few.

Applications for this year’s grants are open until 31 May 2024 and will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis.

You can find out more and apply on our website: geelongaustralia.com.au.

Our commitment to the arts extends beyond pure financial assistance.

A large amount of our work is based on partnerships, where we work side-by-side with other like-minded organisations to amplify the opportunities available to our creative community.

A recent example is the First Nations NBN Box Art Project, where we partnered with nbn®, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative and local First Nations artists, to turn utility boxes into vibrant pieces of art.

These artworks celebrate First Peoples’ talent, culture and stories and serve as basis for conversations about First Nations culture.

The First Nations NBN Box Art Trail runs from central Geelong to Marshall, and I encourage you to take a look.

Outside of partnerships, our Potato Shed hosts performances of all kinds and our National Wool Museum brings in local, national, and international exhibitions consistently across the year.

There are some great new shows set to be staged at the Potato Shed in the coming weeks, while the ‘Cultural Bridges: Celebrating four decades of Pako Festa’ exhibition at the National Wool Museum is well worth a visit.

So whether it’s reaching out to us for a grant or on a partnership, or attending a show or exhibition at one of our venues, together we can all play our part in continuing to foster a vibrant arts and culture scene here on the Bellarine.

Cr Trent Sullivan

Mayor, City of Greater Geelong