Autumn 2019 eNews
Remembering Summer Time
The autumn equinox signals that the summer months have come and gone. CuriousWorks has been been busy working across holidays and heatwaves. 

We’ve been seeding new ideas, new work, and new artistic collaborations with the launch of Makers Space program and this year’s CuriousWomen leadership program. These exciting new programs are providing participating artists with an opportunity to explore bold new ideas, play in the rapidly evolving new media landscape and further develop their artistic practice.

In our social enterprise sphere,  we’ve started working with new communities and amplifying new voices with the launch of Journey to Social Housing (with Wentworth Community Housing) and Passage: Stories of Migration and Belonging (with University of Wollongong South West Sydney Campus and Settlement Services International).

And amongst CuriousWorks artists, it’s been a tremendous summer of firsts: Shawn Spina took a lead role for the first time, writing and performing in his short film, Prone to the Drone: after many years of development, Counting and Cracking had its critically acclaimed premiere in Sydney and Adelaide; Miranda Aguilar’s play in development, Let Me Know When You Get Home had its first inner-city showing at Mardi Gras 2019 PLAYLIST; and FUNPARK returns to the Mt Druitt community in 2019, with Daisy Montalvo taking the lead as the new program coordinator and Artist in Residence!

An Autumn Breeze Approaches: What’s Coming Up?
Last year at Urban Stories, we previewed works in development by artists from the Beyond Refuge program. We are now very excited to be launching beyond refuge: dialogues a collection of five short video works created by artists with refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds.

beyond refuge: dialogues asks audiences to listen carefully to the new narratives of our times – with forced migration and settlement a reality for many in our community. All works are produced in Western Sydney and explore stories of homesickness, motherhood, friendship, lost love and asylum seek children’s survival against the odds. As a collection, beyond refuge: dialogues is a gentle manifesto for freedom and friendship, as well as a meditation on the after-effects of forced migration.

What: beyond refuge: dialogues
Opening Launch

When: Sunday 5 May 2019
12:00pm – 2.00pm

Where: Marsden Gallery,
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Over at Q Theatre in Penrith, Miranda Aguilar is bringing the latest version of her play in development, Let Me Know When You Get Home, to the Long Table this April. Long Table – Home Land is part of Q Theatre’s Long Table pilot program – a month of community gatherings centred on CALD artists looking at the past, present and future of Australian Diasporic communities, curated by Vonne Patiag. Miranda will be presenting a select reading of scenes from her play, designed to evoke the question: where do you go when no ‘home’ fits?
What: Let Me Know When You Get Home
Play Reading

When: Wednesday 10 April 2019
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Atrium Foyer,
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

Lastly, we are bringing back a literal visual feast to the public: the Meet+Eat series! Meet+Eat came from the idea that no matter who you are or where you’re from, there’s no better way to get to know someone than over a good meal. Each episode brought together different people from diverse backgrounds in Hume, Victoria or South Western Sydney to prepare a meal and have a yarn.

We’re proud to be showcasing this documentary series again this April on the Crescent Plaza Big Screen, in collaboration with Fairfield City Council. No RSVP required.

What: Meet+Eat
Community Screening

When: Friday 26 April 2019
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Where: Fairfield Crescent Plaza Big Screen
Opposite Fairfield Railway Station

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If you’ve been following our social media, you would have heard that our own Shawn Spina’s work, Prone to the Drone, was selected for the 2019 Screenability Filmmaker’s Fund

Prone to the Drone tells the story of Sam, an isolated young man whose monotonous daily life is interrupted when a drone crash lands in his backyard.  The short film is written (and stars!) Shawn Spina, with Daisy Montalvo as the director and Miranda Aguilar as the producer. These three artists and the creative team  have been working away on this thoughtful short film since before the holiday season, and have just completed post-production!

We’ve submitted the film to this years Sydney Film Festival and hope to have some more good news to share soon. For more information on Prone to the Drone, check out the website link below.

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“I grew up here. Social housing lets me afford to keep living here,” Carol.

On the 14th of March, audiences braved rain and hail to come down to The Joan in Penrith for Journey to Social Housing, a project sharing courageous stories shared by older residents living in social housing across Penrith, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.

We partnered with Wentworth Community Housing to deliver this work, facilitating a series of workshops and dialogues with their social housing tenants. Through films, audio stories and photographs they share with us their lives and experiences of journeying to find secure housing for themselves and their families.

Though the community event has passed, you can still see the large scale window installations at The Joan and learn more about the tenants and view their stories by following the link below.

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We are immensely proud of the amazing Counting and Cracking, written by our founding director, S. Shakthidharan, and co-presented by Belvior and Co-Curious, CuriousWorks’ new sister company. The work has reached critical acclaim (and sold-out) at both Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival, and has struck an important chord with the Sri Lankan diaspora community.

Here’s some of what’s been said about the work:

“More valuable is the play’s reclamation of identity, in its insistence that the portrayal of Australian lives must include histories and origins that are routinely excluded and denied.” Suzy Goes See

“I am so unspeakably glad that young brown kids can go see this play with their parents, and that they will understand more and more about the play for years to come.” Tanya Ali, for Folk Magazine

Read more about the work and the community feedback it has received in the link below.

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