Early Christmas gift for northern Illawarra based creatives

Steel City Strings on stage. Picture:

THREE northern Illawarra based creative organisations have received an early Christmas gift by receiving a combined $154,640 in NSW Government funding for local arts and cultural activities.

These recipients are among of 97 diverse projects sharing in over $5 million as part of the first round of Create NSW’s 2020/21 Arts & Cultural Funding Program on behalf of the NSW Government.

Open to individual artists, arts and cultural workers, partnerships and organisations, the funding supports professional projects at any stage of the creative process with the aim of delivering a more vibrant and accessible arts and cultural sector in NSW.

Thirroul based Spunk Records have received $44,800 for their “Hometowns 2021” project.

Hometowns 2021 is a unique regional touring initiative that will take 15 established and mid-career artists to their home towns in regional and outer suburban NSW for concerts, workshops and school visits, offering inspiration, mentorships and role models to young regional artists and audiences.

Also receiving funding is New Steel City Strings. The chamber orchestra of musicians have received $29,840 for their “Earth Connections” project. Steel City Strings will collaborate with Indigenous composer/musicians William Barton and Brenda Gifford in a program comprising new compositions, refreshed arrangements of existing works, poetry and dance.

The South Coast Writers Centre have also received $80,000 for their 2021 Program.

State MP for Heathcote, Lee Evans said the funding will contribute to supporting the local arts community in a time when it is most needed.

“We have a vibrant arts and cultural sector that has been hard hit by combined impacts this year, and I am thrilled the NSW Government is supporting Spunk Records, New Steel City Strings and South Coast Writers Centre through the Arts and Cultural Funding Program,” he said.

“I know the Heathcote community is looking forward to experiencing and engaging with the local arts and cultural sector as they reopen their doors.”

Round 1 also includes over $535,000 for projects and programs that are Aboriginal-led or have a significant focus on First Nations content.

A full list of Round 1 recipients is available here. Round 2 of Create NSW’s 2020/21 Creative Koori, Project and Annual Organisation funding will open on 1 February 2021. For further information on arts, screen and cultural funding, including targeted support opportunities, visit the Create NSW website at

For more information: Steel City Strings, Spunk Records and South Coast Writers Centre websites

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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