With Artistic Merit, Kath worked as a consultant producer for VicHealth’s Arts About Us program, which aimed to foster conversations about cultural diversity and the harms of race-based discrimination.
Kirsty and Kath provided advice to the 18 organisations and projects funded from 2009-2011, and put together a ‘Roadshow’ to regional Victoria to extend the outcomes of the program. They brokered partnerships with regional festivals in Mildura, Shepparton, East Gippsland and Horsham which saw a series of music, theatre, comedy and multimedia events presented within these festivals from January-July 2012. The artists and projects included:
- Deborah Cheetham’s Short Black Opera company performed Til the Black Lady Sings in Mildura’s Murray River Classical Music Festival
- A tour of Sarajevo Suite to the Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival
- The premiere of Simon Tengende’s play Dare to be Faceless, commissioned by La Mama, in SheppARTon Festival, with a local cast and choir including members of Shepparton’s African communities
- A tour by comedians Kevin Kropinyeri and Josh Earl through East Gippsland for the Creative Gippsland Festival
- A major music project with the Anti-Racism Action Band, with composer Irine Vela as lead artist, in the Art is… At the Water’s Edge Festival in June, resulting in a series of flash mobs and a concert with local participants and emerging artists from A.R.A.B.
- A tour of Museum Victoria’s award-winning interactive multimedia project Talking Difference to Shepparton, Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Horsham and Mildura
Artistic Merit was subsequently reappointed as producers for the next phase of Arts About Us, for 2012-2015, once again providing advice and support, and putting together a Roadshow in partnership with local governments, with a particular focus on Greater Geelong and Swan Hill. Kath worked on the program to June 2014, working closely with the funded organisations and projects cohealth arts generator/Brothers & Sisters, CuriousWorks/Meet + Eat, Federation Square/Light in Winter, Kids Thrive/Postcards from Nana, Malthouse Theatre/Blak Cabaret, and Museums Victoria/Talking Difference. Artistic Merit repeated the successful approach from round one of layering multiple activities into the focus regions, and provide additional opportunities to both trigger and sustain conversations about race-based discrimination in each community through adding developmental projects, workshops, screenings and social media films to the Arts About Us program.
See further information at the VicHealth website
Featured image of Dare to be Faceless at SheppARTon Festival by Jim Gow/Speedshop