Melbourne’s preeminent First Nations arts festival, YIRRAMBOI, is delighted to announce the launch of its 2025 Commissions, unveiling opportunities for local and international artists to shape the cultural landscape. The offerings include the highly anticipated return of the YIRRAMBOI Commissions, complemented by International Collaborative Commissions with a focus on Canada.
YIRRAMBOI, meaning ‘tomorrow’ in the local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woi-wurrung peoples, has been a vibrant platform celebrating and amplifying the voices of First Nations creatives. Rooted in the rich cultural tapestry of over 80,000 years, the festival presents an opportunity to bridge the past and present, showcasing stories that resonate globally.
The YIRRAMBOI Commissions, now in its fourth iteration, stands as a testament to the festival’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent and providing a stage for the diverse narratives within the First Nations arts sector. Creatives, collectives, community groups, and arts organizations based in Victoria are invited to submit Expressions of Interest, with the selected projects receiving $36,000 in support ($18,000 for creative development and $18,000 for presentation).
J-Maine Beezley, YIRRAMBOI’s co-lead, shares, “YIRRAMBOI Commissions showcase the incredible diversity within the First Nations arts sector and shifts the paradigm of what’s perceived as ‘First Nations arts’ – pushing boundaries and celebrating the evolutionary practices of First Nations creatives. We really can do anything.”
The festival welcomes submissions across all artistic mediums, encouraging participation from Victorian First Peoples, d/Deaf, Disabled, neurodiverse artists, and those based regionally. Projects, regardless of their development stage, should be fully realized for presentation by May 2025.
In a momentous return, YIRRAMBOI introduces the International Collaborative Commissions, fostering a creative exchange between Australian and Canadian First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists. Upholding the deep connection between the First Peoples of both nations, this initiative embodies self-determined collaboration rooted in Indigenous protocols.
Sherene Stewart, YIRRAMBOI’s co-lead, emphasizes, “Now more than ever, we must exercise our Sovereignty through connection, cultural exchange, and creating new intercultural work. We may come from different parts of the world but the fight to thrive is the same. It’s through our unity that we can forge real change for our next generations.”
The International Collaborative Commissions invite submissions from existing collaborative relationships or individual artists seeking a partner. Two selected commissions will be awarded $36,000, covering creative development, travel, and presentation.
As YIRRAMBOI embarks on this transformative journey, it reaffirms its dedication to empowering First Nations voices, fostering connections, and shaping a cultural legacy that transcends borders.
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