VIMH is incredibly excited to announce that in 2021 we are going to be running our first associate artist program, inviting four artists to work with us across the year to develop their individual practice with a focus on fostering and strengthening connections within our community.
2020 has presented intense and unique challenges to the arts. Individual artists, institutions, companies, venues and audiences have all been impacted by the social and economic challenges of the extended Melbourne lockdown, by restrictions on gathering and by the emotional tolls of fear, uncertainty and isolation. Our community has been badly bruised (but not broken) and it’s in the spirit of healing and reconnection that we have decided to run the VIMH associate artist program. We’re thinking of it as our love letter to Melbourne.
The program will take place across nine months between March and November. Each associate artist will be asked to bring a “project” to the program that they want to work on across the year. This project could be a performance work they’re creating, an area of creative investigation they want to delve into, a specific skill-set they want to develop, or something else that we’ve not thought of that excites that artist.
Across the course of the year the four artists will meet online together with VIMH on a monthly basis to collectively engage with these various projects, develop skills and approaches, provide feedback and support, and create a collective practice of creative critical thinking and ongoing reflection. We hope that this monthly coming together through shared practice helps to develop deep connections between the artists involved as well as provide a platform for each artist to extend their practice.
The associate artists will also have the chance to observe the work happening in VIMH’s rehearsal rooms. In 2021 will be presenting two new works, The View From Up Here by Fiona Spitzkowsky (directed by Julian Dibley-Hall), and let bleeding girls lie written and directed by Liv Satchell. The associates will be invited to be a part of the community of artists that are bringing these new performances to life and Liv and Jules will facilitate critical dialogues with the associates around what they’ve witnessed, how and why certain processes are being used, working methodologies, and care as a priority in the rehearsal room.
In 2021, VIMH will also be running a number of “in-person” workshops which we will offer to the community more broadly. The associates will be invited to attend these events as part of the program to further their individual and collective practice. These workshops will focus on creative community development, with topics including: producing a values charter; idea articulation and development; financing projects; and ecology mapping. We hope that by opening these workshops out to more members of our community, we can be a small part of creating energy, connection and space to dream where we as a community might go next.
As we sail into the last weeks of this storm-riddled 2020, VIMH would like to extend our love, respect, admiration and care to every one of you. We are deeply moved by the resilience that’s been evident this year despite the individual challenges everyone has faced. We can’t wait to connect with you either through one of our 2021 programs, at a show, over the phone, over a coffee, in a rehearsal room. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Jules and Liv x