The Melbourne Awards announced Arts Project Australia as the Arts and Culture Champion award to Arts Project on an exclusive TV event on Channel Nine on Saturday 21 November 2020 with a special segment featuring the studio and artists Mark Smith, Monica Lazzari and Cathy Staughton.
“It’s our honour to be named Arts and Culture Champion,” says APA Director Sue Roff. “2020 has been a huge year for us with our artists working from home. It’s so important to keep creatives creating and sharing their art with the world. We’ve been thrilled to be able to do that during a pandemic.”
The Melbourne Awards are the City of Melbourne’s highest accolade. They celebrate the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy to make this city a world leader. In 2020 the program shined light on community champions who have shown outstanding leadership, kindness and generosity during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Award recognises the innovation and resilience of Arts Project since restrictions closed the physical studio and gallery earlier in the year. The studio developed the Satellite Arts Program with staff working remotely with over 60 per cent of studio artists, providing mentoring and delivering art supplies to their homes. The gallery continued to promote artists and sell artwork through weekly virtual exhibitions, as well as a billboard exhibition in partnership with Civic Outdoor and a live stream Virtual Gala planned for this Saturday in collaboration with Leonard Joel.
This is Arts Project Australia’s second Melbourne Award; they were recognised by the City of Melbourne with a Community Organisation Award in 2011.
In the Arts and Culture category, Arts Project Australia was shortlisted alongside CTO Artist, Melbourne Digital Concert Hall and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Together with Arts and Culture, other categories included Business, Digital Innovation, Youth, Community and Essential Services. Exclusive to 2020, the Melbourne Awards assessed each category according to their contribution to Melbourne through their response to the COVID-19
Executive Director Sue Roff and artist Jordan Dymke accepting Melbourne Award at Melbourne Town Hall