Regional Arts Fund to provide grants for arts initiatives

REGIONAL communities around Queensland will be able to reinvigorate public areas, such as disused town halls, as new arts and culture venues, as part of $1.3 million in arts funding announced on Thursday.

Part of the new National Cultural Policy launched last week, the Regional Arts Fund will provide grants to communities around the country for new arts initiatives.

Regional Arts Australia executive director Jane Scott said the $160,000 available for "animating spaces projects" in Queensland were now open for applications.

"It will mean that in places where you might have a disused town hall or public space, it will provide funds and support to help reinvigorate those areas," she said.

"It could be creating art gallery, or locals could invite a band to plan or hold writing workshops - we've deliberately kept it open so people can decide what they would like for their community."

As part of the national funds, there will also be $160,000 made available to help build indigenous arts networks and skills development in New South Wales.

Ms Scott said if local arts groups wanted to apply for funding, they should contact the relevant state regional arts organisation.

Arts Minister Simon Crean said in line with the cultural policy, the new funding was about putting artists at the centre of all communities.

He said he knew there were regional artists waiting for a chance to start a local project, and the funds could help them.

But Mr Crean said he wanted local communities not just to rely on the Federal Government funding, but to talk to state and local governments as well to get extra funding for bigger regional projects.

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