SSI Arts & Culture
Empowerment through the arts – for everyone
SSI's innovative Arts & Culture program is inspired by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their creative potential and participate meaningfully in Australia’s cultural life.
Our aim is to foster and facilitate artistic expression and cultural participation by nurturing artists and cultural practitioners from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
We provide a platform for connection and self-expression, underpinned by our understanding that arts and culture initiatives empower individuals, bring communities together and help build a stronger society.
Festivals and cultural events
SSI Arts & Culture stages a range of vibrant and diverse festivals and events that provide valuable opportunities for artists to connect with the community.
In 2015, our flagship event, New Beginnings Festival, was born; a multi-form arts event that showcases the artistic vibrancy and cultural heritage of migrant and refugee artists to Sydney’s diverse communities and beyond.
The Homelands regional tour, a dazzling live arts and culture tour, took place for the first time in June 2019, travelling across regional QLD and NSW. Homelands aims to build social cohesion and a deeper appreciation of cultural diversity within Australia through the sharing of art, music and settlement experiences.
From July – September 2020, The New Beginnings Freedom Sessions ran as a series of five performances and artist discussions featuring a diverse group of talented performers from refugee and migrant backgrounds, livestreamed from Wordplay Studios in Sydney. Click here to view the sessions
These sessions are one of the ways we are trying to support and highlight culturally and linguistically diverse artists through this challenging time.
SSI and the Australian National Maritime Musuem (ANMM) are proud to present Motherland - Exile/Refuge - Migration (repeat) - an exhibition documenting artists experience of migration in Australia as refugees or people seeking asylum, as well as artists exploring this theme.
When: 6 – 26 January 2021
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum
Click 'attending' on the Facebook event page for updates
Community arts & cultural engagement
Through our community-minded approach, we work closely with artists and communities from diverse cultural backgrounds and enable participants to express themselves, find their creative voice and share in truly meaningful cultural exchanges.
Over the years, we’ve been able to connect artists through shared cultural engagement initiatives with the Sydney Writer’s Festival, The Iraqi Cultural Festival, The Human Sound Project and CuriousWorks.
Creative pathways for newly arrived artists and cultural practitioners
Refugees and migrants bring new artistic perspectives, diverse cultural knowledge and heritage to their new home, enriching the cultural capital of the nation. However, no matter how talented they might be, artists from culturally diverse backgrounds who have recently arrived in a new country typically struggle for both work and recognition.
Since 2014, we have supported innovative minds through skills-enhancing workshops and have created showcase and employment pathways and income-generating opportunities for artists and cultural practitioners through our Creative Pathway and Artist Development Programs.
Arts advocacy, capacity building and leadership
We work year-round with key partners in the arts and culture sector to facilitate creative conversations and find long lasting solutions to issues facing artists from diverse backgrounds.
'SSI Artist Voices: experiences of the pandemic and a desired future’ presents the findings of a series of virtual in-depth artist roundtables facilitated by SSI between August and September 2020. The roundtables aimed at providing an opportunity for artists involved in the SSI Arts & Culture program to discuss the future of the arts and their own artistic practice and to define what recovery and support would look like for them.
Partner with us
The SSI Arts & Culture program partners with arts organisations, artists and cultural workers to deliver an annual program of events, projects and workshops.
If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact:
Arts and Culture Program Manager
Mobile 0435 865 084
Shape the future with us
We’re offering a range of exciting sponsorship, partnership and donation opportunities. Learn how you and your organisation can support the movement towards a more harmonious, inclusive and culturally enriched society.
Want to know more? Please contact:
Fundraising and Partnerships Manager
Mobile 0435 865 084