Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

It's a wrap - but it's just the beginning for nine Northern Rivers young Indigenous artists

 Arts Northern Rivers’  IAM: Indigenous Arts Mentorship project wrapped up to a packed house celebration at the Byron Community Centre recently, but it’s just the beginning for the nine young Indigenous artists who took part in the project.

Funded through the Arts NSW Aboriginal and Cultural Strategy Strategic Initiatives, the project aimed to create solid pathways into the creative industries by matching nine young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with professional artists to assist them in taking their passion to the next level.

From hip hop to fashion – dance to stand up comedy – the project uncovered an amazing pool of young Indigenous people in the Northern Rivers ready to put their creative dreams into practice.

Evans Head Hip hop dancer, Jacinta Hyde said her teachers told her to apply for the mentorship after seeing her dancing around the school grounds.

‘I thought, “sure why not?” so I sent my form and dance video and when I got the email saying I was one of the few who were accepted I was absolutely ecstatic!’ Jacinta said.

Arts Northern Rivers CEO Peter Wood said the project has delivered above and beyond its initial goals.

‘Not only were we able to match each participant with an industry professional to help them on their journey, we partnered with education providers including SAE QANTUM in Byron Bay to explore education and study opportunities with each of our mentees,’ Peter said.

‘We’re confident these young participants have gained enough out of this project to kick start their careers either with further study or through the incredible contacts they’ve made,’ he added.

The project is part of Arts Northern Rivers commitment to support Indigenous artists in the region.

The Final Wrap celebration was an opportunity for the participants to showcase the work produced with their mentors during the project.

Singer / songwriter Tahni Walton-Holmes blew the audience away with her cover of Kodaline’s song All I Want.  Thanks to guidance by her mentor Byron based Diva, Miss Renee SimoneTahni is being booked for gigs in the local area

Her is aim is to build up more and more experience with performing with a live audience and continue to follow her passion to see where it takes her.

‘If everything goes well, I’d love to be traveling around Australia or even internationally if that is possible, doing what I love and making a career out of it with happiness being the number one goal,’ she said.

The mentorship sessions took place over a four month period and included studio recording time, styling a fashion campaign, hip hop dance classes, an opportunity to photograph the Byron Bluesfest and one on one session with renowned Indigenous artist and Elder Digby Moran.

Listen to  Jannali Doncaster and AJay McFadden talk on ABC North Coast NSW about their mentee/mentor experience.

The mentees/mentors are: Jessie Louise Cowan/Zachary Bennett-Brook; Jannali Doncaster/AJay McFadden; Kausarlya Green/Mia Brennan; Jacinta Hyde/Jadi Dewi Tyas; Drew Jamieson/Ellen Briggs; Kiahma Walker/Kirra Prendergast; Tahni Walton Holmes/Renne Simone; Karri Williams/Justin Linvingston; Josh Wilson/Albert (Digby) Moran.

With Arts Northern Rivers

Arts NSW_logo_Mono