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NEXT LEVEL Creative Mentorships Announced

Five Artists Are Taking Their Projects to the NEXT LEVEL

We’re delighted to announce the five talented artists with disability or who are d/Deaf accessing professional mentorships through our NEXT LEVEL Creative Mentorship program:

Antoinette Barbouttis, Hanna Cormick, Dave Houston, Gareth Kelaart and Jacqui O’Reilly will each receive a mentorship within a leading performing arts organisation and $5000 in project funding to develop an innovative new project.

Each of the selected artists will receive up to 20 hours of one-to-one support through our partnering organisations including Sydney Theatre Company, PACT, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, NORPA Lismore and Riverside Theatre. This exciting program will involve assessing their ideas, developing concept briefs, drafting a detailed project outlines and assistance with securing pitch meetings with relevant companies, venues, artistic directors and/or producers.

“We’re so excited about this new program and the valuable opportunities it provides for artists with disability,” says Accessible Arts CEO Liz Martin. “We’re delighted to be partnering with such fabulous organisations to facilitate these valuable mentorships and can’t wait to see how each of these artists takes their projects to the Next Level!”

The Next Level Creative Mentorship Program will be undertaken and completed between April and June 2022.

NEXT LEVEL Creative Mentorship Participants:

Antoinette Barbouttis – Riverside Parramatta mentorship
Antoinette is a writer and multi-disciplinary artist. She runs her own theatre company ‘Ban Shakespeare’ and in 2019 was awarded the Philip Parsons Award for her work ‘Cool Pool Party’. During 2021, Antoinette worked on a seed development of her new work ‘Sylvania Waters/The Seagull’ with Performing Lines. She was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award for her performance in ‘Puntila/Matti’ (MKA Theatre/KXT) in 2017 and was the winner of the Lester Portraiture Prize in 2018.

Hanna Cormick – Sydney Theatre Company mentorship
Hanna is a Finnish-Australian artist creating across fields of performance art, theatre, dance, curation and crip activism, with a creative ethos that prioritises anti-extractivism, climate justice and access. Recent works have featured at Sydney Festival (The Mermaid, 2020), Climate Change Theatre Action (Dream/Remember, 2021; Canary, 2019), and co-curating virtual festivals Platform LIVE and I-Dance (2020). Cormick is a graduate of Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (Paris).

Dave Houston –Northern Rivers Performing Arts mentorship
Dave is an actor, musician, writer, and director who has toured broadly nationally and internationally. He has written over 20 professional plays, recorded 7 studio albums and worked extensively in community cultural arts development. This project will be his third solo show. He likes the colour purple.

Gareth Kelaart – Darlinghurst Theatre Company mentorship
Gareth is a deaf and queer artist. He currently works for the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and provides support to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community across Sydney. Gareth is an advocate for the arts as he feels they provide connectivity across communities. He explains “Art is a visual language. It can be inspiring, transformative, heart-breaking or humbling regardless of someone’s origin story”. His ambition is to provide a platform for Deaf and Hard of Heading artists to share their stories, and collective experiences. Gareth hopes to inspire others to share their voice with the world and not hold back.

Jacqui O’Reilly – PACT mentorship
Jacqui is a Pākehā artist, researcher and musician from Aotearoa New Zealand, now based in Sydney on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Jacqui is interested in the creative act as acknowledgement of past happenings, reparative futuring and embodiment within the ‘more-than-human’ world. Her recent installation and performance works explore relations between people, place, media and perception. These include Into the River – Te Awa Kairangi (2021-22), UNSW Galleries and Frontyard Projects, The Hundred Steps Home, Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, Chongqing, China (2019) and Kii Peninsula Transitory, Futakawa Arts Festival, Japan (2017).


Image description: A collage of five headshots featuring Gareth Kelaart, Hanna Cormick, Jacqui O’Reilly, Dave Houston and Antoinette Barbouttis. In the centre is a logo which reads: NEXT LEVEL Creative Mentorships.

create nsw logo  Accessible Arts