SSI’s self-funded Arts and Culture program is inspired by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their creative potential and participate meaningfully in the cultural life of the community— no matter where they come from, what language they speak, or their level of ability. The Arts and Culture program uses a number of innovative initiatives to accomplish this aim.
SSI New Beginnings Festival
Established in 2015, the SSI New Beginnings Festival is a unique celebration of the creative work of artists and makers from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Through an innovative, vibrant annual program staged at Sydney’s inner city venues, the festival encourages established and emerging communities to come together for a shared cultural experience. Visit our website for more details.
Image: New Beginnings Festival in Spring Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour
The SSI Arts and Culture program supports newly arrived artists and makers to fully participate in Sydney’s creative community. We do this by facilitating and providing professional development, showcase and employment opportunities, and connecting artists to relevant industry networks. Examples include Singular/Plural (2017), Home: Between here and there (2015) and digital media workshops with CuriousWorks (2014-2016).
Image: Artist Development program
Working hand-in-hand with people from the community, SSI coordinates creative projects that enable participants to express their feelings, find their creative voice and share in a cultural experience. These have included Dancing my Dreams (2016-2017) and the SSI Community Kitchen: New Beginnings song (2017).
Arts advocacy and leadership
We work year-round with key stakeholders and partners in the arts and culture sectors to facilitate creative conversations and find long lasting solutions for issues facing artists from diverse backgrounds. This included the 2016 Arts & Refugees Forum, which provided networking and development opportunities for artists, arts organisations, academics, policy-makers and community workers. See program here.