Arts Minister Simon Crean, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett and Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, announced the Creative Young Stars program as part of the new national cultural policy Creative Australia, a vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern Australian life.
“The Creative Young Stars program will help thousands of school students and post school youth develop their talent and pursue their dreams with $23,500 of grants made available in every federal electorate across Australia each year,” Mr Crean said.
“With the support of schools and cultural and community bodies, grants of $500 for individuals and $3000 for groups will provide young Australians with financial help to participate in training, cultural artistic, academic or community based activities and competitive events.
“We know that young people are as passionate about art and culture and the pursuit of academic excellence as they are about sport – we are giving them real opportunities which build on this passion.
“Creative Young Stars will complement the Local Sporting Champions program currently operating in every community across Australia with an administrator to oversee the guidelines.”
Mr Garrett said the Creative Young Stars program complements the introduction of an arts education for all through the Australian Curriculum.
“Schools will be able to seek assistance to support their orchestras, bands, science and arts prize winners to attend national competitions just as sports teams can already represent their schools.”
Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, said that the Creative Young Stars program would help young people in Melbourne’s West develop their talents, build connections and open up pathways to further training and employment.
“This part of Melbourne is home to some amazing talent, but there are also areas of disadvantage. Many of our potential young stars have had to pursue their dreams under their own steam. I hope that this grants program will provide some much needed practical support for these committed and passionate young people.
“It’s important that singers, actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists and other creative young people are supported, just as young sport stars receive support to train and compete with the world’s best,” Mr Shorten said.
“The project will see Creative Young Stars in Maribyrnong form part of a new generation of young achievers.”
In the 12 months to April 2012, more than one third of children aged 5 to 14 years (35%) participated in at least one organised cultural activity, including playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama and organised art and craft outside of school hours.
Almost half of all females (47%) participated in at least one organised cultural activity, compared with 24% of males.
Creative Young Stars will be administered by a third-party administrator appointed by the Department of Education, Employment and Work Place Relations and jointly funded by DEEWR and the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.
Read the national cultural policy, Creative Australia at creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au