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Shoalhaven artists awarded professional development grants

Shoalhaven City Council is excited to announce four winners of the Shoalhaven Arts Board Professional Development Grants. 

The Shoalhaven Arts Board have awarded four Professional Development Grants to local artists. 

The 2018/19 Professional Development Grant Program offered grants of up to $3,000 to individuals or small groups to undertake activities that helped to improve their skills and knowledge within their chosen art field. 

10 applications were received making the decision tight and the Arts Board commended all who applied as showing high levels of dedication and achievement within their chosen art form.  “The arts board has a mission to develop excellence in the Shoalhaven and these grants showed how much is being achieved across many art forms” said Clr John Wells, Chair of the SAB. 

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said the grant opportunity recognises the value of local aspiring artists. 

“These grants all have a ripple effect where the applicant will bring back significant skills and knowledge to the Shoalhaven, promoting high-quality art experiences for all,” said Cr Findley 

The successful applicants include: 

Sophie Fletcher, a 14-year old dancer, who has been selected to join the Filling the Spacecontemporary dance performance in Canberra in August 2019. Sophie is one of the youngest dancers chosen in the dance troupe and will utilise the grant to support attendance at rehearsals throughout the year which includes a workshop with the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Company and the performance in August. Sophie said ”Performing in Canberra as the Shoalhaven’s only representative will be both an immense benefit and a new and exciting experience for me.”

The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra supports the musical endeavours of 35 young Shoalhaven residents. The annual SYO Music Camp provides an opportunity for orchestra members to focus on playing music together over a dedicated weekend. The SYO will use the grant to invite guest professional orchestral music tutors from the Australian Haydn Ensemble to the 2019 music camp. Following the music camp, the musicians will perform at a number of villages including Huskisson, Nowra, Milton and Berry.

Alison Stewart, Visual Arts Teacher at Nowra Christian School. Alison will create and facilitate 2 HSC Visual Arts Study Days to assist year 12 art students to both to develop their body of work for the HSC and prepare for the examination. She aims to design the study days so they may continue to be offered to all Shoalhaven HSC visual arts students in future years. Stewart commented, “This is something students of the Shoalhaven have been needing and it will really help them as they prepare to sit their HSC exams”. 

Jill Talbot, visual artist will attend a 5-day short course The Power of Colour and Abstraction at the National Art School in Sydney. The course offers the opportunity for emerging artists to develop their professional art practice. Jill was a finalist in the 2019 Ravenswood Australian Women’s arts prize in the emerging artist category and this course will help her continue to develop her practise and also her work with the Shoalhaven Mobile Preschool as an art educator. 

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