WAG wins funding to support Aboriginal art

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Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) has won funding support for its Aboriginal art and cultural engagement initiatives.

Regional Arts Australia will provide $125,000 to support the Maar National Gallery within WAG.

The funding will be provided over three years and will help support the employment of a Curator of Cultural Engagement who will implement programs, exhibitions, and workshops.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie welcomed the grant and said it was great acknowledgement of the significance of Aboriginal art in the South West and of the cultural engagement already undertaken by the WAG team.

“We know that the South West has a long and rich cultural Aboriginal history that indigenous and non-indigenous people value highly,” Cr Jellie said.

“It is important that it is appropriately acknowledged with a dedicated space and resources within WAG.”

WAG Director Vanessa Gerrans thanked the Regional Arts Victoria Assessment Panel, which made recommendations to Regional Arts Australia for funding through the Regional Arts Fund Recovery Boost – Renewal Grant Program

“The role at the WAG will engage with the community, connecting them to Aboriginal-led exhibitions and activations that are safe and accessible, inspiring people to visit, boosting business participation and engagement,” Ms Gerrans said.

“Working with the established Maar Nation Steering Committee of Aboriginal Elders and cultural leaders, and gallery staff, the curator will build meaningful connections with Traditional Owners and communities to ensure the Maar Nation Gallery space meets all expectations.”

The WAG was just one of five successful applicants for the funding round.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Morrison Government’s investment in the long-term development and sustainability of regional arts is crucial for the recovery of Victoria’s cultural and creative sector.

“We understand the extreme disruption to the arts and cultural sector in Victoria from the pandemic, which is why the Government acted quickly to introduce our $10 million targeted measure, as part of the Relief and Recovery Fund,” Minister Fletcher said.

“I am pleased to see these five projects receive $624,650, which will provide opportunities for artists and arts workers, including those in regional communities, to develop new work, strengthen partnerships, build sustainable networks and develop cross-border relationships.”