Funding to make music work

QCRC Director Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

Two new research projects aimed at equipping musicians to sustain successful careers and allowing the arts and cultural sector to play a crucial role in regional development will launch shortly following the award of more than $400,000 in funding.

The Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre was successful in securing two grants through the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme announced this week, for the following research and industry collaborations:

Making Music Work: Sustainable Portfolio Careers for Australian Musicians
Griffith researchers Professor Huib Schippers, Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Professor Scott Harrison and Professor Paul Draper alongside Professor Dawn Bennett (from Curtin University) and Ruth Bridgstock (from Queensland University of Technology) ($222,515 funding). Partners includeThe Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Arts Victoria, Department of Culture and the Arts (WA) and Music Trust.

Creative Barkly: Sustaining the arts & cultural sector in remote Australia
Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Dr Naomi Sunderland and Professor Heidi Muenchberger alongside Dr Sandy O’Sullivan (from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education) and Professor Philip Hayward (from Southern Cross University) ($208,215 funding). Partners includeBarkly Regional Arts and Regional Development Australia NT.

The funding announcement is a terrific outcome for the arts, according to QCRC Director Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet.

“We’re collaborating with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to cultivate projects and initiatives that produce significant artistic outcomes, cultural benefits and social dividends,” she says, noting that these two projects will be flagships in this regard.

Making Music Work will explore the conditions and strategies needed for musicians to sustain successful portfolio careers,” Associate Professor Bartleet explains.

“It will combine aspects of performance, recording, creation, music direction, teaching, community activities, health, retail and a presence in online environments.”

The three-year investigation with five key industry partners will incorporate surveys as well as twelve in-depth case studies of individual musicians/ensembles in order to identify key success factors and obstacles that will inform opportunities for training, development and support.

How art operates in our remotest regions

Creative Barkly, however, will address a pressing need for evidence-based research that examines how the arts sector is currently functioning in remote Australia and where its growth potential lies.

“There is increasing recognition that the arts and cultural sector plays a crucial role in regional development, but very little is known about how this operates in Australia’s remotest regions where the demographics of communities are vastly different from other regional centres,” she says.

“This project will map out the sector in one of Australia’s largest remote regions, the Barkly, examine the role leading organisation Barkly Regional Arts plays in this and deliver resources and recommendations that will inform current policies, strategies and initiatives in the Barkly and beyond.”

The QCRC – described as ‘international beacon of excellence’ in a 2012 review by the Association of European Conservatoires – was established in 2003 and continues to take a contemporary approach to research in music performance and artistic practice, music education, music technologies and community music.

“The Centre has a sustained track record of securing ARC Linkages and a commitment towards working collaboratively with partners from the music industry, communities and education to address the pressing issues of our time,” Associate Professor Bartleet says.

“Over the past eight years, QCRC has led four highly successful ARC Linkages led by the former Director Professor Huib Schippers alongside researchers from QCRC on topics as diverse as sustainability of cultural traditions, community music in Australia, new and emerging places for art, and performing arts programs in prisons. These two new Linkages will now build on these.

“It also reflects QCRC’s mission to undertake leading-edge research that tackles the complex and multi-faceted role that music plays in contemporary society.”

These two ARC Linkage Project grants form part of the 252 new research projects awarded a total of $86.9 million, announced by Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP this week.

Media Contact: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, l.marino@griffith.edu.au