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Business News (more headlines) 05-16-2014

New APRA AMCOS Project To Develop And Support Aboriginal Musicians In Partnership With The NSW Government

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APRA AMCOS will launch a new program to develop, support and nurture Aboriginal musicians across NSW. The $65,000 funding for the project has come from the NSW Government as part of their Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Strategy.

Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant said the new project will be developed and managed by the APRA AMCOS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office.

"Australian Aboriginal musicians are increasingly gaining international recognition for their work, but there are still challenges to overcome for many Indigenous musicians," Mr Grant said.

"There's no reason why Aboriginal musicians from NSW can't emulate the success of well-known musicians such as Dan Sultan, Gurrumul, Casey Donovan, The Last Kinection and Jessica Mauboy who performed for an estimated audience of 125 million as part of the Eurovision contest last week.

"This funding will help APRA AMCOS develop a project to help Aboriginal musicians from four regional towns and one urban area to develop their skills, promote their work and access mainstream music markets.

"The NSW Government is supporting this project as part of its commitment to investing in the State's Aboriginal arts and cultural sector."

APRA AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle said, "Our ATSI Music Office works incredibly hard in supporting music development in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. This project will allow them to expand on their work in NSW.

"Mentoring and developing songwriting skills early on is key for building the knowledge and confidence needed to pursue a sustainable music career. We are thrilled to partner with the NSW Government on this latest project," he said.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello said the support given to APRA AMCOS would bolster opportunities for talented Aboriginal musicians to gain mainstream exposure both in Australia and internationally.

"Music is an integral part of Aboriginal culture and identity, and it is a medium through which we tell the story of Australia's First People.

"We know the number of international tourists seeking an Indigenous experience is increasing and we have a wealth of Aboriginal musicians who, through their music, can serve as ambassadors to promote our amazing Indigenous culture."

The Aboriginal music development project will include:

Community consultation to identify key Aboriginal music hotspots for development;
Workshops focussing on songwriting, business management, demo and basic studio recording, marketing and individual skill development; and
Mentoring and ongoing development for three artists.

Songwriter and singer Jessica Mauboy has praised the new program's focus on developing musicians' creative and industry skills in regional areas.

"I am thrilled APRA AMCOS and the NSW Government are running this project for Aboriginal musicians. It's great regional areas are being targeted; they often don't get the same opportunities as people in the city.

"This project will build confidence in young musicians. And that's key to writing a song, getting up on stage and being heard," she said.

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