Arts mentoring program launched in Bundaberg


Visual artist Adrienne Williams and CQ RASN Arts Officer Julie Barratt.  Photo courtesy CQUniversity.

Visual artist Adrienne Williams and CQ RASN Arts Officer Julie Barratt. Photo courtesy CQUniversity.

This month the Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network launched an innovative mentoring program in Bundaberg.

Five artists and arts workers were chosen from across the Wide Bay Burnett region to take part in the inaugural Hothouse Mentoring Program: Wondai artist and community development worker Wendy Olsen, Hervey Bay writer and artist Shawn Wondunna-Foley, and from Bundaberg filmmaker David Quarrell, artist and arts educator Jassy Watson, and visual artist Adrienne Williams.

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

CQRASN Project Officer Trudie Leigo says 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.”

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 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.”