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2019 ACDGP grantees

BLAK LAB at Asia TOPA 2020

Funding will support the inaugural coming together of First Nation leaders from our region at a ten-day event to develop connections and explore collaborations.

Photo of actors Tuakoi Ohia and Mark Coles Smith rehearsing their lines from script.
Actors Tuakoi Ohia and Mark Coles Smith from Black Ties Development. Presented by APAM in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA 2020. Photo by James Henry.

Sector: Performance, arts and culture

Grantee: Arts Centre Melbourne

Project description

As part of the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (January — March 2020), Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) will jointly host the inaugural Blak LAB, a lab curated by Australia’s First Nations artists and cultural leaders. Up to thirty First Nations artists from across the Indo-Pacific have been invited to Melbourne as part of the APAM Gathering at Asia TOPA. Over ten days (16-26 February), they will connect, share culture and cultivate new artistic collaborations. While resident, participants will be introduced to local venues, audiences and resident diaspora communities and attend cultural events.

Curated, managed and determined by First Nations cultural leaders, Blak LAB will celebrate and honour Indigenous custodianship of the land — providing opportunities for First Nations artists and creative professionals to respond to and interpret the cultural heritage and traditions of our region. Blak LAB is part of a growing and celebrated movement of international First-Nations-led creative incubators.

Project start-end dates: 16-26 February 2020

Country: Australia

Total project value: $153,000

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $60,000

Website: Blak LAB, Asia TOPA

Facebook: Asia TOPA

Instagram: asiatopa

Twitter: Asia TOPA, DFAT




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