Underbelly Arts aims to facilitate the development of the next generation of artists and to support emerging art forms and to provide opportunities for audiences to actively participate in the development and presentation of artistic practice. In 2011, the Nelson Meers Foundation supported Underbelly’s remarkable Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island, where audiences witnessed the work of 150 artists who had collaborated on innovative and experimental projects during a residency in the preceding 10 days. In 2012-2013 we supported Underbelly in implementing its unique Propellor Program to mentor artists by providing them with professional skills development (such as marketing, dramaturgy, touring, festival applications and/or producing) in order to enhance their practice and capacity.
Why did we fund this project? Skills development for artists is a neglected area within the cultural sector. Not only will this program build the capacity of the artists with whom Underbelly will be working by actively facilitating future presentation pathways, it will also build Underbelly’s own capacity as an innovative and evolving arts organisation.