Young people in the local region have the chance to access up to $8000 to foster their interest, participation and potential careers in the arts, thanks to a local initiative.
The grants are available through the New England Young Arts Partnership Program, which supports a wide range of arts-related projects for young people in the region, including a tertiary scholarship of $1500.
This year the program welcomes individual, as well as, group applications.
The program was created by the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society Armidale (ADFAS) in 2015, then a partnership with the Rotary Club of Armidale Central was formed in 2017.
Since 2015 the partnership has contributed nearly $60,000 to support Young Arts in the region.
Usually, the two organisations support the partnership with funding of $4000 each a year.
In 2019 a one-off $6000 grant, The Pat Tooth Scholarship, named in recognition of the ADFAS Armidale founding chairperson, was awarded. This was for an outstanding student who would find the funds to be of great help in allowing the recipient to continue his/her studies.
In 2021 the Rotary Club of Armidale Central provided additional funding of $4050 to recognise the significant challenges faced by the arts due to the ramifications of Covid 19.
This ensured that all successful applications were funded in full to a total of $12,050.
Some projects were unable to be undertaken in 2020 and 2021. These are expected to go ahead in 2022, Graeme Fordham, the Young Arts Partnership coordinator, said.
"The program has been vital in promoting the arts in the region over the past seven years and has stimulated a keen interest and appreciation of creativity and exploration among young people," Mr Fordham said.
"It is wonderful to know that through the partnership the grants and the scholarships could even lead to young people pursuing careers in the arts, making a great contribution to our national asset.
"And it's something in which the local community can take great pride - the funds come from every person who supports the Rotary Club of Armidale Central and ADFAS."
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