Aboriginal artists and recognised Aboriginal arts organisations have been invited to apply for assistance though the Arts Tasmania Aboriginal Arts Fund, which aims to support, revitalise and preserve traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art forms and practices.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, said the second round of the Arts Tasmania Aboriginal Arts Fund offers grants to eligible artists for residencies, mentorships, individuals and group projects.

“Four-week residencies are offered to Aboriginal artists working in any artform and are located in sites of ecological and/or cultural significance,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Mentorship grants are allocated to assist Aboriginal artists to learn from experienced mentors anywhere in Tasmania.”

Ms O’Byrne said project funding is available to assist individual artists, collaborations and groups of artists, such as actors, arts administrators, choreographers, visual artists and writers.

Eligible projects must commence after April 2009 and could include, creative development to pursue projects that develop practice, from research through to presentation of work, skills improvement such as editorial assistance, or attendance at conferences or seminars relevant to professional development and business opportunities for research, planning, marketing and audience development strategies.

The fund is administered by the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board with assistance from the Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of Aboriginal community members.

Organisations are encouraged to apply for funding to deliver projects which employ professional Aboriginal artists and engage the community in arts activities.Eligible projects must commence after April 2009 and may be as diverse as exhibitions and showcases, plays, concerts and festivals, literary magazines and publications and community cultural development projects.

Interested parties are urged to register an Expression of Interest by phoning Arts Tasmania on 6233 7308 or 1800 24 7308.Applicants will meet with two Arts Tasmania Program Officers, one of whom will be the Aboriginal Arts Program Officer, to discuss projects and to refine written or verbal applications for presentation to the Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee.

The closing date for final applications to the 2009 Arts Tasmania Aboriginal Arts Fund is 6 February 2009.

The committee is particularly interested in applications from emerging artists. Applications from non-Aboriginal organisations will also be considered if projects are of benefit to Aboriginal artists.

Full details of the Arts Tasmanian Aboriginal Arts Fund are available at www.arts.tas.gov.au or by calling the Aboriginal Program Officer in Launceston on 6336 2349 or the Program Officer in Hobart on 6233 7308.