Beyond Empathy The Maven Project
Beyond Empathy The Maven project

Beyond Empathy
The Mavan Project

The Maven project is about creating a hub for creativity, imagination, collaboration, learning, skills, cultural exchange and community. Professional Aboriginal artists, working as artistic leaders and teachers, develop new multidisciplinary Australian works and unlocks the potential of young emerging artists from across regional NSW. Music, dance, physical theatre, film and design are all a part of the new works created.

The Maven Project places Aboriginal artists at the centre of the creation of this work within their community. Central to its delivery is the recognition of and respect for Aboriginal people's custodianship over their intellectual property; allowing and supporting them to be in charge of how their work is created and how it is presented to the Australian community. Ultimately, we want to support these artists to collaborate with other artists and companies beyond our current reach, captivating national and global audiences and expanding the profile of their work.

Mavens are information-hoarders and Mavens are community influencers. Mavens are information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. To be a Maven is to be a teacher. But it is also even more emphatically to be a student (Malcolm Gladwell).

The Maven Project respects the deep cultural cycle of life long learning and teaching that guide Aboriginal communities. The Maven project recognises that Aboriginal people have all they need to teach and guide their young people and their communities to artistic and cultural independence.

Mavens are intense gatherers of information and impressions and so recognises that art and narrative sits at the centre of all teaching and learning. Driving the Maven Project are the Aboriginal teachers, mentors and cultural guides necessary to take their community into the next millennium.

Michael Leslie is one of the professional artists working on Maven. He is the one talking with energy at Carmel Vales' feet in the image above. Carmel is a graduate of NAISDA and Michael is a founding dancer/member of NAISDA.

Kim McConville
Executive Director