Innovative arts mentoring program launched

Trudie Leigo helps with arts mentoring
Arts mentoring project officer Trudie Leigo.

As host of the Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (CQRASN), CQUniversity is leading the way when it comes to upskilling artists and arts workers.

This week an innovative new arts mentoring program was launched.

Five artists and arts workers were chosen from across the Wide Bay and Burnett to take part in the inaugural Hothouse Mentoring Program.

The participants will be mentored over a six-month period to help get five new community-based arts projects off the ground.

Project officer Trudie Leigo said the program was aimed at developing new opportunities in the region.

“The participants will be working closely with their mentors to develop new festivals, exhibitions, publications and film projects,” Ms Leigo said.

“We’ve introduced this program so that we can help grow the capacity of the arts industry in the Wide Bay and Burnett and to increase employment in the sector.”

Arts mentoring program

Ms Leigo said that the participants have been matched one on one with highly experienced arts professionals who will work with them to bring their project ideas to life.

Participants will also undertake several workshops throughout the program to increase their skills in business management, project management and grant writing.

Adrienne Williams with her winning piece from the 2017 Bundaberg Arts Festival
Adrienne Williams with her winning piece from the 2017 Bundaberg Arts Festival. Source: Facebook

One of the participants of the program, visual artist Adrienne Williams, said the opportunity was an exciting milestone for her career.

“I feel so lucky to have been selected for this extraordinary opportunity,” Ms Williams said.

“Opportunities to be mentored by professionals of this calibre don’t come along very often.”

Ms Leigo said this was the first time the Hothouse Mentoring Program was being offered.

“We’ve designed the program specifically to meet the needs of the Wide Bay and Burnett Regions,” she said.

“We are also planning on rolling out similar Mentoring Programs in Rockhampton and Mackay in 2020 and 2021.”

Hothouse Mentoring Program participants:

  • Wendy Olsen: artist and community development worker, Wondai
  • David Quarrell: filmmaker, Bundaberg
  • Jassy Watson: visual artist and arts educator, Bundaberg
  • Adrienne Williams: visual artist, Bundaberg
  • Shawn Wondunna-Foley: artist, writer and designer, Hervey Bay.

The Regional Arts Services Network is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. CQUniversity has been appointed as the Central Queensland Provider.