Federal grant keeps NORPA telling our local stories
THE future of NORPA's Generator program has been secured after being confirmed as the recipient of a grant of almost $400,000 in two years from the Federal Government.
The Generator Program allows Northern Rivers Performing Arts to develop local stories such as Railway Wonderland, produced for the second time last year, and the upcoming Dreamland, which will be performed at the Eureka Hall next month.
Page MP Kevin Hogan confirmed the announcement today, as part of the new Catalyst Program.
Catalyst is the Federal Government's new funding program for the arts.
It will invest $12 million each year in innovative projects and initiatives from arts and cultural organisations.
Mr Hogan said the initiative is part of the Department of Communication and the Arts, headed by minister Mitch Fifield.
He said he became concerned for the future of local arts after NORPA was unsuccessful in securing grants from the Australia Council earlier this year.
"The minister had been here and met Julian (Louis, NORPA's Artistic Director) and Patrick (Healy, NORPA's General Manager) a few months ago, he loves Lismore, and he has been here a number of times as a minister," he said.
"I went and saw him when I knew that Julian and Patrick had missed out on the money from the Australia Council, and said 'you've been (in Lismore), you know the work they do, I know this is an independent process but they are very worthy for giving a regional voice to the performing arts."
"We know and I know the great work that NORPA does for our community. Lismore is becoming a centre of excellence in the arts and NORPA is part of that fabric. I wan that work to continue and support them as much as I can."
Artistic Director Julian Louis said the positive effect of the grant will benefit the community beyond just NORPA.
"It provides us with resources to continue making original work, which means jobs: two key roles that then allow us to develop and create works that are inspired by this region, than then also employ local artists across a range of artforms: sound designers, visual designers, costume designers, as well as actors and performers," he said.
"The ripple effect is very exciting for us, but also it allows us to maintain a regional perspective in our cultural landscape," Mr Louis said.
- NORPA has invited the community to its Season 2017 launch to be held at Lismore City Hall, 1 Bounty St, Lismore, on Friday, November 10 from 6pm. Free event.