Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch is “over the moon” that Cairns’ renowned JUTE Theatre Company has been awarded funding through the Australian Government’s Catalyst fund.
“I am very, very pleased to announce today that JUTE will receive $420,000 to support its project titled ‘Telling Diverse Stories from the Deep North’ through the Catalyst-Australian Arts and Culture Fund,” Mr Entsch said.
“The JUTE Theatre Company, driven by Suellen Maunder and her team, do an absolutely fabulous job in telling stories that contribute so much to our regional identity.
“As part of our plan to develop Northern Australia we need to encourage population growth in regional centres like Cairns, and the ability to enjoy high-quality arts – both visual and performing – is an important element of a region’s ‘liveability’.
“Thanks to JUTE and its partner organisations KickArts Contemporary Arts and the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Cairns exceeds artistic and cultural expectations for visitors and locals alike.”
Gill Townsend, Chair of JUTE, said the organisation was honoured to receive the Catalyst funding.
“This will allow us to change lives through theatre,” she said. “We are excited to be able to continue our wonderful work, particularly the work with young Indigenous people, which builds on contributions from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Arts Queensland in providing access to theatre and skills development for some of the most isolated young people in our country.”
Suellen Maunder, Artistic Director & CEO of JUTE, thanked Mr Entsch for being a “fierce supporter” of his community and of JUTE during their 25 year history.
“Warren recognises the value of a company like JUTE imbedded in the community, developing and producing work that speaks to our contemporary life and privileges regional artists,” she explained.
“It is so important to have local members who advocate for the arts in their region. JUTE is committed to continuing this great work over the next 25 years.
“There is a rich professional theatre ecology in regional Australia that is forging ahead and leading the way in the development of new stories that reflect the diversity of our society. We are proud that this funding will continue this great work, providing so many benefits for regional artists, audiences and young people.”
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts, said the Catalyst fund has provided around $26 million for more than 140 projects to date and is supporting innovative work and encouraging partnerships across the arts sector.
“The majority of recipients have been small to medium arts organisations representing a range of art forms from theatre and visual arts to music and community arts,” Minister Fifield said.
“Catalyst has also provided important support for international tours that will showcase Australian arts to global audiences and deliver arts and cultural activities in regional and remote Australia.”
Catalyst provides funding through three streams: Innovation and Participation, International and Cultural Diplomacy, and Partnerships and Collaboration.
For more information about Catalyst-Australian Arts and Culture Fund, visit www.arts.gov.au/catalyst.