Regional arts boost - Local projects win vital funding

'Monkey and the Monk' director, Kate Stones, monkeys around with Lil and Ali.

'Monkey and the Monk' director, Kate Stones, monkeys around with Lil and Ali.

Castlemaine Theatre Company and Castlemaine Circus Inc are set to receive a share of $105,148 in funding thanks to the Australian Government's highly competitive Regional Arts Fund, delivered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria.

Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis QC, recently announced funding for grants projects in regional and rural communities across Victoria. 

Eleven projects have been funded. Castlemaine Circus Inc will receive $12,000 in funds for its project, Atopia, which will see performers, circus artists, musicians and emerging artists from Castlemaine and Maldon respond creatively to the civic spaces of their home towns.

Castlemaine Theatre Company Inc. will receive $13,000 in funds for its next production, Monkey and the Monk, a retelling of the 1980s Japanese TV series Monkey Magic. This production is a collaboration between Castlemaine Theatre Company and a number of community groups.

Regional Arts Victoria director, Esther Anatolitis, said this Regional Arts Fund round supports new work across fashion, film, song, theatre, circus, craft and beyond.

"From Indigenous stories through colonial history to popular culture, this Regional Arts Fund round supports contemporary practice as well as artist-led developments in unexpected places," Ms Anatolitis said.

"Regional Arts Victoria is proud to partner with the Australian Government on this vital program. We thank all the applicants as well as our independent panel for their commitment to this fund."

Federal member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, said it was great to see that this funding had been delivered as normal.

"The creative arts in central Victoria is such an important industry. It's a growing industry and I'd argue that more funding is needed," Ms Chester said.

"It's great to see these local projects receive this vital funding, but let's not forget that $100 million has been ripped from the Australia Council which provides vital funds for the arts.

"These projects are small to medium projects and it's great to see them receiving support, but there's still uncertainty around bigger projects, because we still don't know if any of our local arts organisations will receive funds from the Minister through the Australia Council. That's a different pool of money."

There are two Regional Arts Fund rounds per year. Applications for round two this year close on August 17. For details on how to apply for the funding, visit the Regional Arts Victoria website at