Talented young people living in regional New South Wales are being encouraged to apply for a state government scholarship program that aims to develop the next generation of bush artists.
The initiative, now in its second year, is open to anyone aged 18 to 25 that calls the country home, and will award $10,000 individual scholarships to the tune of $1 million over four years.
25 scholarships are up for grabs this year.
Deputy Premier and Arts Minister Troy Grant has urged young adults with a creative streak to come forward and apply for what promised to be a life-changing experience.
Mr Grant said that often youth living in the state’s regions think they “don’t have the right stuff to make it in the field of their dreams.”
“I travel across regional New South Wales and see how much talent is out there, but I also hear the struggle our young people have of being seen and heard,” he said.
“These are stories which should be told, and that’s why I launched this grant to help young people progress their works.”
The program will fund activities relating to all art forms, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Indigenous arts, literature, music and visual arts.
Mr Grant encouraged regional youth to “think big” and “come up with their own plan.”
“It could cover dance fees, accommodation, travel, a mentorship or an arts residency,” he said.
Previous scholarship winners have used their grants to further themselves in a diverse range of creative arts, from stop motion animation to textiles, and landscape photography to Indigenous dance music video clips.
The alumni includes Bethany Thornber, from Corowa in south-west New South Wales, who is using the money to undertake a six month mentorship with an Indigenous artist and to hold her own exhibition.
“It will develop important networks, which all helps with getting events and exhibition spaces, and that’s something important, that you struggle with in regional New South Wales,” Ms Thornber said.
Cultural and heritage visitors spend $8.3 billion in New South Wales each year, and the arts sector generates $4.8 billion in business income, employing 176,000 people directly and indirectly.
You can find further information and apply for the grants here.