Cessnock artists, art workers and groups can now apply for development grants from arts organisation Octapod after it secured $90,000 in funding from Create NSW.
Octapod Chair Kate Baartz said the arts development grants will have a direct and positive impact for local artists and arts-based organisations in Cessnock and Port Stephens.
"Applications are open until the end of October and with regional NSW on the cusp of reopening, the timing is perfect to support all kinds of creative pursuits from equipping artists with supplies, supporting organisations to thrive or showcasing a wide range of creative disciplines, through performances, exhibitions and projects," she said.
Funds of up to $5000 are available for individuals and $10,000 for groups or organisations.
Applications for funding are only open to artists and groups from Cessnock and Port Stephens, or are proposing a project that will be staged in one of the two eligible LGAs.
The funding could cover anything from business plans, to purchasing equipment, training and development opportunities, and event and project delivery.
Octapod executive manager Lauren Van Katwyk said that while the organisation focuses predominantly on emerging and experimental art, the grants are open to all artforms and creative disciplines including visual art, music, dance, performance, creative poetry, prose and more.
"This grant is about arts development and so we are hoping to see applications that help strengthen the arts ecosystem in these communities. We've intentionally designed the grant criteria and the application process to scaffold emerging groups and individuals," she said.
Apply by midnight on Sunday, October 31 at octapod.org.
Octapod also secured funding to present free online professional development workshops for artists and arts workers in these regions, offering expert advice from local artists, business owners, festival directors and more.
The Creative Business workshop is for those who want to turn their creative passion into a sustainable business, and the Creative Connections shares how artists and community members can create connections in their community.
The Cessnock workshops will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, October 20 (Creative Business) and Thursday, October 21 (Creative Connections), both from 6pm to 8pm. Register at octapod.org.