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Ignite your creative spark with a hand from council

The history of the city’s Chinese immigrant community including the unusual tale of a man who lived in a cave in the middle of Ipswich will be told in a new locally-written opera.

Ipswich director and actor Eugene Gilfedder has produced a first draft opera libretto after receiving a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant.

His was a sad story as he had been cheated out of the money he had saved resulting in his living in a  cave, making a living by selling firewood and doing odd jobs.

The opera is currently in development by Brenna Lee Cooney who was told this story by her father and is being written by Merlynn Tong.

“This opera is a celebration of Ipswich’s unique cultural heritage, the Chinese immigrant community of its past,” Mr Gilfedder said.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Ipswich City Council to support local arts and culture.

Other recipients of the RADF include a street parade, artists in residence kindy workshop and citizen journalism workshop.

Lady at ‘Cocky Jerry Jar’ Cave, Denmark Hill, Ipswich ca. 1947. Image: Picture Ipswich

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the long-running RADF program gives Ipswich creatives the flexibility to shape their own arts, cultural and performance projects.

“We are pleased to be able to support these 12 Ipswich artists with funding as Ipswich is enriched by our diverse creative community,” Mayor Harding said.

Mayor Harding also acknowledged the dedication of the Ipswich RADF Committee (listed below) who had the rewarding role of supporting and recommending the successful applicants.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee chairperson Cr Andrew Fechner said this council is committed to arts and culture.

“We want to support our creative community to produce locally-driven content and productions,” Cr Fechner said.

“A strong vibrant creative sector not only provides enjoyment to residents, but also enhances cultural tourism, keeps local creatives employed and stimulates our local economy.”

For more information on RADF read the guidelines here or call council on 3810 6655.

The first round of 2020/2021 funding will close to expressions of interest on 31 October.

The second round opens on 1 February 2021 and the third round opens 1 June 2021.

Ipswich City Council has allocated $60,000 and Arts Queensland have allocated $40,000 in the 2020-21 RADF for three funding rounds to support the development of art and culture in Ipswich.

The Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland, is contributing $2.08 million to the 2020-21 RADF partnership across 59 councils statewide.

Successful applicants 2019/2020

Fusion Arts – The Little Mermaid junior musical

Eugene Gilfedder – The Legends of Cocky-Jerry-Jar

THAT Production Company – Failure to Launch by Liam Lowth creative development

Sarah Disney – Falling in Slow Motion

Bisichop (Future) Fidel – THE VICTIM

Kendal Newman – Level-up Ipswich Music Production

Stephanie Elliot – To the Monster in my Cupboard Creative Development

Bax Ruddick – Whose lens is it anyway? Using citizen journalism to tell local stories and teach media literacy

Debbie Chilton – Ipswich Artists in Kindergarten Residence Workshop Program and Meeting Place 2019

AusCongo Network Incorporated – Congolese Culture Connect

Circus Ipswich – Circus Ipswich Street Parade

Christian Sargeant – DIY Music Workshop Series

Debbie Chilton (RADF Quick Response Funding) – Meeting Place 2019

Current members of the Ipswich RADF Committee are:

  • Cass Ramsay (Writing, Theatre, Cultural Tourism, and Community Arts & Cultural Development)
  • Debbie Chilton (Writing, Visual Arts, Crafts & Design, and Community Arts & Cultural Development)
  • Donna Cavanagh (Visual Arts, Crafts & Design)
  • EJ Garrett (Visual Arts, Crafts & Design, and Community Arts & Cultural Development)
  • Louise Merrington (Music, Writing, and Theatre)
  • Nigel Lavender (Music, Theatre, Cultural Tourism, and Community Arts & Cultural Development)
  • Shirley Whitta (Visual Arts, Crafts & Design)

Ipswich City Council provides funding in five categories:

  1. Public Art
  2. Telling Ipswich’s Stories
  3. Projects – up to three years duration
  4. Skills Development and Mentoring
  5. Quick Response

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