Thursday, 12 January 2017

Yirramboi: Melbourne’s new Indigenous arts festival

The City of Melbourne has announced the revitalised Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival: YIRRAMBOI - which means ‘tomorrow’ in the shared languages of Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle encouraged Aboriginal writers and artists to submit expressions of interest for projects in the lead-up to the YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival which will run from 5 to 14 May 2017.

“I am pleased to announce the YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival, which will celebrate 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture and inspire all Melburnians to engage in our shared tomorrow,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The ten day festival will feature Indigenous-led dance, music, visual art, theatre and film across Melbourne’s laneways, public spaces and major venues.

“The City of Melbourne is committed to celebrating the many extraordinary talents of our Aboriginal people; the oldest continuous living culture in the world.”

The City of Melbourne will present the reinvigorated festival in partnership with Creative Victoria and with support from the Festival’s Elders Council of Kulin Nations people.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said the Victorian Government’s support for the festival was part of its Creative Industries strategy, Creative State.

"As a creative state we need to ensure that the rich culture and creativity of Aboriginal Victorians is supported, promoted, celebrated and enjoyed,” Minister Foley said.

“YIRRAMBOI is set to be a forward-looking and exhilarating event that builds on thousands of generations of cultural practice.”

Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Councillor Rohan Leppert said the biennial festival would become a landmark cultural event.

“The revamped YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival will be a wonderful addition to Melbourne’s thriving Indigenous arts scene,” Councillor Leppert said.

“I encourage Aboriginal writers and artists to apply to participate in this ground-breaking festival, which will be a cultural highlight of 2017.”

In addition to showcasing the diverse and unique talents of Victoria’s Aboriginal artists and performers, First Nations artists from New Zealand, Canada, Wales, the United States and Taiwan are being invited to feature their works in the festival.

The festival will also include key industry gatherings and skills development programs, including Blak Critics, a masterclass series for local Aboriginal writers who will provide critical perspectives through the lens of First Nations Peoples throughout the festival.

Victorian Indigenous arts leader Jacob Boehme was appointed as the festival’s Creative Director earlier this year.

“YIRRAMBOI is an exciting opportunity for Melbourne’s communities and artists to engage in First Nations arts and culture in new ways and in new contexts,” Jacob said. “We carry with us always, the legacies of yesterday and we invite you to dream forward with us, into tomorrow.”

For more information or to apply for one of many festival opportunities, visit the YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival. A full festival program will be released early next year.

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