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Get Lost to take creative sector forward

Smiling Rob and Sam bump elbows in a brainstorming workshop.

Council has launched a creative platform to support artists in partnership with the local creative community.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is proud to announce the launch of a community driven project called Get Lost to showcase local creatives and is calling on artists, community, the creative sector and investors to get involved.

Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Cultural Development Officer Vicki Anderson said creative minds across Jaara Country have been collaborating to explore new ways to finance, make and share creative work.

“The Get Lost project includes a creative and innovative online platform for makers and creators to collaborate, exchange ideas and share content,” said Ms Anderson.

“It also includes a grants program to kick start and generate content development and a philanthropic fund to establish the vital funds needed to support our creatives into the future.

“This exciting initiative was developed in partnership with the local creative workforce and the timeline has been rapidly accelerated due to COVID-19,” she said.

According to Ms Anderson Get Lost was a pipeline idea that started among discussions with the creative sector about two years ago.

“Mount Alexander Shire is known as a cultural and creative centre with the highest rate of artists, creators and makers per capita in the state,” said Ms Anderson.

“With the nation’s arts and cultural sector, and the gig economy, significantly impacted by COVID-19 it was very clear we needed to bring this pipeline project forward,” she said.

Council has worked with a small, but dedicated community working group to develop the Get Lost website to cultivate the creative talent and energies in the shire. The working group includes Rob Jennings from We Push Buttons, Sam Thomas from Masumano and Miles Bennett, Lisa Mills and Gavin Krasner from Storyland.

“The online portal will be a place to collectively engage with our local community and global audience,” said Ms Anderson.

“It will be a place to get lost as you wander and explore curated experiences through online exhibitions, conversations, performances and stories.

“We are encouraging all local creators, makers, custodians, producers and venues to sign up to the first stage of the project as we start to collect stories from across the shire.”

To kick start the process Council is seeking Expressions of Interest for ten $1,000 grants as part of its Get Lost Quick grants program. Mount Alexander Shire creatives and cultural organisations can apply for a grant before midnight, 28 June 2020 via www.getlost.org.au.

The applications will also help Council and the community working group understand local needs and build a pipeline of projects for development.

Council has also set up a new philanthropic fund called Get Lost Forever and is now accepting charitable donations to administer another year-long grants program.

“Our vision is to enable foundations, businesses and individuals to recognise the value and support for our shire’s hard-hit creative community and workforce by making a tax deductable donation,” said Ms Anderson.

“The funds will be used to boost the capacity of creatives to produce and share work aligned to community priorities such as reconciliation, climate, diversity, health and place-making.

“In stage two, the Get Lost platform will provide creatives with access to live streaming, podcasting and audio casting software, chat rooms, forums and professional development materials.

“We want to empower creators and makers by providing them e-commerce opportunities through a single portal and help them collectively emerge from lockdown to the public realm safely and confidently,” said Ms Anderson.

“We are aiming to distribute $1,000, $3,000 and $10,000 grants if we are able to hit our initial target of $45,000.”

Mount Alexander Shire Council provided seed funding for the project through its existing arts budget, with generous investment from the community working group.

“I encourage everyone to get behind our shire’s arts, culture and creative industries through this initiative, to ensure our shire remains one of the best places to live, work and play in Victoria,” said Ms Anderson.

Anyone can support the local creative sector by donating to the Get Lost Forever project at www.australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/get-lost-forever.

Image: Rob Jennings and Sam Thomas participate in a social distancing brainstorming activity for Get Lost.

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