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CIAF launches CATAPULT, new arts program for First Nations artists

Rhiannon Clarke -

A new opportunity has arisen for First Nations artists in Queensland to catapult their careers.

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) has launched a development program called CATAPULT, which aims to support and showcase the work of emerging, mid-year, and established artists.

CATAPULT is a two-part program that includes an exhibition and professional development support.

It is designed to provide tailored assistance to artists, ultimately leading to their participation in CIAF's 2024 Art Fair. This program marks a significant milestone for CIAF, as it is the first of its kind for the organisation.

CIAF Artistic Director, Francoise Lane, emphasises the importance of Queensland's First Nations arts and cultural practitioners to the organisation.

"Catapult is just the first in a series of strategic development programs and forms part of an ambitious and transformative four-year plan," she said.

"CIAF is and has always been much more than an annual event that showcases the incredible talent and shares the stories of First Nations people.

"Taking a step back, it is a progressive movement geared towards reconciliation and understanding through the creative employment, economic participation, and delivery of high-quality arts experiences."

Action from this year's CIAF. (Image: supplied, CIAF)

CATAPULT is a platform for artists to seize various opportunities, such as showcasing their work, building their profiles, and advancing their professional practices.

This program is just the beginning of a comprehensive four-year plan that includes other strategic development initiatives.

CIAF's mission goes beyond being an annual event that celebrates the talent and stories of First Nations people.

It is a progressive movement that aims to promote reconciliation and understanding through creative employment, economic participation, and the delivery of high-quality arts experiences.

Artists have two weeks to submit their Expressions of Interest (EOI) for CATAPULT before the December 8 deadline.

In addition to CATAPULT, CIAF has also issued an EOI for ART FAIR EXHIBITORS who are currently working on and planning to exhibit their work at CIAF 2024.

Furthermore, the EOI phase for BLOOM, CIAF's fashion industry development program, has recently closed with successful participants which will be announced in coming weeks.

CIAF's 2024 theme is Country Speaking. The festival will be held form July 25-28, 2024.

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