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$100,000 grant boosts First Nations arts businesses ahead of Brisbane Olympics

Joseph Guenzler -

The Queensland Government has unveiled the first recipients of the First Nations Arts Business Grants.

More than $100,000 is being allocated to support 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural businesses in Queensland, supporting skill development and enhancing capacity.

The First Nations Arts Business Grants have been awarded to several deserving recipients, showcasing a diverse range of projects across Queensland.

First Nations arts businesses offer various services and products, including cultural tourism, arts, jewellery, fashion, and social enterprise.

The grants will help these businesses seize opportunities leading up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Queensland Arts Minister, Leanne Enoch said Queensland is uniquely home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and First Nations arts and cultural businesses make an important contribution to the economy and community identities across the state.

"As we prepare to welcome the world to the Brisbane 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games, our government is working to ensure First Nations artists and arts businesses can leverage the opportunities presented by the games," Ms Enoch said.

"The First Nations Arts Business Grants and First Nations Arts Business Hub supports the priorities of our Creative Together roadmap, elevating our state's international reputation for exceptional and unique First Nations arts and cultural products and experiences."

Erub Arts is set to receive $6,160 for the development of a new business and strategic plan, while Hopevale Arts and Culture Centre will utilise $10,000 to launch a new website, database, and online shop featuring local artists' work.

Ngaro/Gia Nations, situated in the Whitsundays, secured $6,963 for business development and an online platform focused on Aboriginal Cultural experiences, tours, and hand-made artefacts.

Woorabinda's Mailaur, a social enterprise, has been granted $10,000 for essential business planning and development.

Other recipients include Gungarri maker Judy Kirby, who will receive $9,865 to expand skills into ceramics and local native timber, and Sunshine Coast-based Take Pride Movement, which obtained $9,482 for business planning and digital platform services.

"Funding from the First Nations Arts Business Grants will help me to grow my business and showcase Australian native timbers in my contemporary and traditional jewellery designs," Ms Kirby said.

"By assisting me to engage experts to present my products through beautiful photography on a new website and consult with professional advisors to streamline my business processes, the grant will enable me to realise the dream of selling my work in local, national and international markets."

Torres Strait Kaziw Meta Inc is set to establish a Thursday Island sales channel for outer island students' artwork with $9,090 in funding.

Additionally, Ganhaarr Cultural Education and Entertainment Indigenous Corporation will receive $10,000 for the development of a new website and booking platform for cultural tourism.

Munimba-ja Pty Ltd secured $10,000 for business and governance planning for their contemporary Aboriginal arts gallery, studio, and shopfront, while Weilwan singer Danielle Teveluwe will expand her music business with the help of $11,000.

Lastly, Townsville-based Big Eye Theatre obtained $10,981 for business and strategic planning to enhance learning and performance opportunities for local artists.

The First Nations Arts Business Grants form an integral component of the First Nations Arts Business Hub, initiated by Arts Queensland in October 2023.

This initiative aims to establish connections between Indigenous artists, arts workers, and organisations, providing them with valuable information and opportunities to fortify and expand their businesses.

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