Western Riverina Arts has launched their side of the new 'Regional Futures' program to help connect young, up-and-coming artists with experienced mentors along with a small boost to funding.
Regional Futures is a statewide discussion on the challenges of art in regional communities presented by the NSW Regional Arts Network, taking place over the next two years.
Fifteen Regional Arts Development Organisations partnered to create the Regional Futures initiative, with each RADO promising to tackle the project's wider theme in a different way.
The program hopes to commission artists to explore what the future might look like for the places they live and create.
As their part of the Regional Futures plan, Western Riverina Arts is launching a mentorship program. Young artists between 16 and 25 years old can be paired with a mentor artist of their choice.
Aanya Whitehead, Regional Arts Executive Director of WRA, explained the program as giving young artists an opportunity to upskill.
"They pick someone they admire or are inspired by, that can either be a workshop from an organisation or an artist, or a placement within a specific organisation they'd like to work with," she explained.
"It's about young artists having that opportunity to upskill and then towards the end of the year, that gets showcased in Western Sydney."
She added that broader networking opportunities would be a significant benefit to artists participating in the program.
The main condition to applying for the program is that either the mentor, artist or both must be from one of either Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera or the Murrumbidgee local government areas.
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While Western Riverina Arts is hoping that applicants already have an idea of who they would work with in the mentorship, Ms Whitehead said that they would help wherever they could.
"From what we've seen in the past, often an experienced or a young artist will have someone in mind already."
"We're very happy to try and pair up people if they don't feel like they have the connections to do that themselves just yet."
She urged experienced artists to stay aware of younger creatives in their circle who might benefit from the program.
"Often experienced artists have young artists around them who might be shy, so they should keep an eye out or even put in an EOI themselves. Be proactive."
"I'd stress for experienced artists to also take the initiative seriously, if they feel there's someone in their orbit who could take advantage of it."
Expressions of interest for the WRA mentorship program close on April 6.
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