Footscray Community Arts Centre has been identified as one of 12 presenters across Australia responsible for more than a third of all First Nations performing arts programming in 2015, in a report by Australia Council for the Arts.

The report Showcasing Creativity – Programming and presenting First Nations performing arts (September 2016) shows that this small number of presenters program a disproportionately high number of First Nations works.

We are proud to be included in this distinction. This achievement is a direct result of our commitment, through our work and ambitions, to position Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, artists and Elders, as critical to history and the future of Australia’s landscape and identity, and therefore in our role as Australia’s leading community engaged, contemporary arts centre.

FCAC is a unique place of learning and sharing where the dynamic between community, culture and contemporary art is explored and celebrated. Our Indigenous Cultural Program (ICP) was established in 2010 and continues to grow and deepen its impact every year. Programming is responsive to the needs of the community and embraces opportunities that arise. It provides a platform for the creative engagement of Indigenous artists, recognising their unique cultures and artistic perspectives as the First Peoples of Australia. Powerful art is made and shared through our Indigenous Cultural Program.

The program, guided by our Indigenous Advisory Group, is built around a stream of core activities including Wominjeka Festival, a rich program of art, music, performance and activities celebrating Indigenous culture in Melbourne’s west, and including a partnership with Laneway Festival to present TERRAIN, showcasing new talent in contemporary Indigenous music; Black Screen – a program of film screenings, Q&As and workshops; a program of events celebrating NAIDOC week; and new, independent works presented and co-produced by FCAC.

Independent dance theatre maker Carly Sheppard said, “This program is incredibly important in this way in giving space for my voice as an artist. Some of my most exciting ideas have been given a platform through the opportunities given by the program and this is really important as it helps to sustain and strengthen the ecosystem of Indigenous arts in Victoria.”

Jade Lillie Director and CEO and Lydia Fairhall Head of Programming said, “It’s less about the level of resourcing available and more about whose voices are prioritised in programming and place – it’s about leadership and community engaged practice.”

At FCAC, we will continue to create opportunities to further develop audiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, increase access to a variety of high quality experiences and connect more people to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts experiences, increasing opportunities for artists. In 2017, Scribe – our playwright in residence program – will see Heart is a Wasteland, the first play written by John Harvey from company in residence Brown Cab Productions, presented as part of Malthouse Theatre’s 2017 program of events.

1- Wominjeka Festival 2016, Image by James Henry


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