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An opera singer, a dancer with disability, a jeweller and a spoken word poet are among 99 emerging artists to be given a boost by the Australia Council in the latest round of ArtStart grants.

Australia Council Executive Director Grants Frank Panucci said applications were received from across the country and the successful artists were working in a range of artforms, including dance, music, theatre, visual arts and literature.

“ArtStart provides up to $10,000 to recent arts graduates wanting to establish a career as a professional artist,” Mr Panucci said.

“Since 2009, just over 1,000 grants have been awarded to emerging artists to help kickstart their career.

“Funding can be used for services, resources, skills development and equipment to help establish an income-generating career in the artform they have studied.”

This round of ArtStart recipients include Indigenous dancer with disability Joshua Pether (WA), poet Zenobia Frost (Qld), opera singer Josephine Grech (Vic), contemporary jeweller Courtney Jackson (SA), and spoken word poet Lorin Reid (NSW).

“Joshua will use his ArtStart grant to visit the United Kingdom to work with dancers with disability, undertake training with Candoco Dance Company and participate in ImPulsTanz.  He is also undertaking a research project on peoples’ ideas of dance perfection and how the disabled body is perceived,” Mr Panucci said.

“Zenobia Frost will embark on a six-month mentorship in Australia as well as another in London, which is a continuation of her mentorship with Warsan Shire, Young Poet Laureate of London and recent Arts Queensland Poet in Residence.  She will also attend the Black Forest Writing Seminars in Germany and undertake a two-week poetry master-class and residency.

“Josephine will travel to Europe to undertake private tuition from key European-based coaches, conductors, artists and directors, including Australian soprano Yvonne Kenny.  She will also participate in an intensive eight-week German language course and undertake acting and stagecraft classes.

“Courtney will set up a workshop in the Metal Design Studio at the Jam Factory in Adelaide and buy tools and equipment.  She will also participate in a series of workshops in stone setting and jewellery findings.

“Lorin will spend her ArtStart year in the US, where she will develop her craft through participation in poetry workshops, events and training.  She will also create a performance video to be posted on YouTube to promote her work.”

Previous ArtStart recipient Harry Edwards (Tas) will launch an album of his jazz compositions recorded with The Harry Edwards Trio at Tasmania’s Clarence Jazz Festival in February.  He used some of his grant on guitar tuition in the niche style Jazz Manouche from experts in North America and France.

“The compositions have all been written, developed, recorded and released during my ArtStart year, and I can happily say the CD is a direct result of the study I was able to do with artists abroad using my ArtStart funds,” Harry said.

Applications are now open for the next ArtStart round, which closes on 3 March.  To be eligible, applicants must be a recent creative arts graduate and present a viable plan outlining proposed ArtStart activities, demonstrate artistic potential and display a commitment to their chosen field.

For more information, go to:



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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