New creative residency program launched in partnership with businesses

The City of Greater Bendigo has developed a new creative residency program in partnership with several local businesses, which will give artists and creatives the opportunity to take part in a paid residency at a workplace for up to three months.

The new Creative Recovery Residency Program offers time, space, mentorship, financial support and professional development to five artists or creative businesses. It will give them the opportunity to develop new work, carry out research, or produce creative projects using their choice of mediums that  relate to the specific workplace.  

The activities have a wide scope, for example, creatives could develop a series of works that respond to the culture or business setting,  capture daily activity, document interviews with staff using a variety of mediums, carry out research linked to business archives if available, develop creative activity that is inspired by materials available on site, design spaces at workplaces or produce digital projects.

Artists or creatives living or working in the Greater Bendigo region whose practice or business operates across any creative discipline including makers, visual artists, sound/lighting designers, writers, multi-form artists, performers, musicians, designers, film makers, digital creators/storytellers, architects, programmers and gamers are encouraged to apply for the residency program.

Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said the City’s Greater CREATIVE Bendigo strategy identified a need to grow partnerships between the creative and business sectors.

“This program has engaged business partners to help shape a strong creative sector that is collaborative and innovative and offers new career pathways for the region’s creatives.

“The City will fund five residency positions and I am delighted that Bendigo Pottery, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bendigo Woollen Mills and the new Emporium Creative Hub on Mitchell Street are the first to come on board and take part in this innovative program and more are expected,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“Our participating businesses are very excited to invite a creative to spend time at their workplace.

“As employees start to return to work, creatives can offer a unique way for people to reconnect to their places of work and their public spaces and offer many different fascinating insights.”

The arts and creative industries have been significantly affected by the pandemic lockdowns, venue closures and restrictions and this program is funded as part of the City’s Creative Activation initiative to support and boost the sector in our local economy.

The City Recovery Activation Fund was set up last October to provide opportunities for creatives to maintain and grow their skills and support those who have been unable to work due to cancelled public events and the closure of venues.

Along with this residency program, the Reactivation Fund established a $40,000 grants program inviting creatives to activate public spaces. It has led to the development of 14 new creative projects with more being planned and implemented over the coming months.  

Applications for the Creative Recovery Residency Program are open until March 30. To apply, visit https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/creative-residency

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