Four leading social entrepreneurs will share how they are tackling community issues through arts and creativity when they present at The Funding Network’s next event in Melbourne on 9 August. Book tickets here and read on to find out about the presenters.
Jacinda Richards, Founder & CEO, L2R
Jacinda Richards believes in creating spaces – physical spaces – for people to embrace their differences. She has been a professional dancer, choreographer and community arts practitioner for several years, with skills across many genres of her artform including jazz and hip hop. Jacinda has worked nationally and internationally in performances and workshops in remote Aboriginal communities to countries as far-flung as Ghana and Korea. Jacinda also works with the Department of Justice as an ambassador for the young women-focused Live No Fear Program and as Recreation Officer at Western English Language School (WELS) with newly-arrived migrant and refugee children. In 2014, Jacinda graduated from Deakin University with an Honours degree on the subject of hip hop and wellbeing among young people. The last 18 months has seen exciting growth for L2R. Jacinda will pitch at TFN to extend L2R’s dance training program to over 100 participants from the 70 she has now. Jacinda also aims to employ and train more teaching artists and take the organisation to the next level by providing more opportunities for marginalised groups through the power of dance.
Kate Sulan, Artistic Director, Rawcus Theatre Company
Aside from being an actor, Kate Sulan is many characters. She works between and among the disciplines of dance, theatre and visual art to create unique experiences. As Artistic Director of Rawcus, Kate creates productions with people with and without disability. Elsewhere in her artistic endeavours, Kate is a long-term collaborator with Back to Back Theatre. She was a co-devisor of the international performance Ganesh Versus the Third Reich and has toured with the work as the show director to over 14 cities worldwide. She has worked as a director and dramaturge with companies such as Malthouse Theatre, Restless Dance Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Stuck Pigs Squealing, The Women’s Circus and Theatre of Speed. On behalf of Rawcus, Kate will pitch for support towards the production of a major new work titled Forever Home exploring hope and resilience. Funds raised will support the payment of Disability Support Workers involved in the process of creating the performance, transport, an accessible set for the artists with disability and the provision of AUSLAN interpretation for the audience.
Rani Pramesti, Board Director, Western Edge Youth Arts
Rani Pramesti is passionate about art that crosses boundaries – racial, cultural, artistic. She describes herself as an actor, theatre maker and intercultural producer working between Melbourne, Australia and Jakarta, Indonesia. As a cultural leader, Rani produces creative works and advocates for socially-conscious cross-cultural performances. In 2014, Rani won the Melbourne Fringe Award for Best Live Art and Kultour’s Innovation in Culturally Diverse Practice Award for her installation-based performance Chinese Whispers. Her first independent production, Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang, received glowing reviews and in 2013, she was an Emerging Cultural Leader at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Rani will pitch for support to Western Edge Youth Arts’ emerging artist wages as part of their daring new production called Caliban, envisioned as a modern sequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The emerging artists are culturally diverse young people between the ages of 17 and 25. They will have full creative control over the production of Caliban which will be performed in the Beckett Theatre, giving artists the opportunity to present to a larger audience in a professionally-recognised space.
Nick Pearce, Co-Founder & General Manager, HoMie (Homeless of Melbourne)
As Co-founder and General Manager of HoMie, Nick is also the public relations figurehead for its parent company Conscious Creative. He is also a communications specialist, a social media curator, a former member of headspace’s national youth reference group, and only 23 years old! A true purveyor of all things cool, Nick made the most of his youth and social conscience by co-developing the HoMie enterprise as a RMIT communications graduate in 2015. (Indeed, the first point of the service’s vision is “Making caring cool.”) HoMie became the social enterprise it is today; one that provides brand-new clothing, training and job opportunities to people experiencing homelessness. At TFN, Nick will pitch for HoMie’s vision to develop a new clothing line and run VIP shopping days in its Brunswick store to bring together the local Fitzroy and wider Melbourne homeless community. On these VIP shopping days, up to 30 homeless clients per month will be invited to shop as VIP customers for free; receiving five items of new clothing, a haircut, nutritional food, and educational workshops hosted by celebrities and industry professional volunteers. Funds from TFN would cover all the costs of the new artistic clothing line and two VIP shopping days in HoMie Brunswick.