Do you have ambitions to be an arts reviewer?

Applications have opened for the 2023 Helpmann Academy / InReview Mentorship, a 10-week program that seeks to develop the next generation of performing and visual arts reviewers in South Australia.

A joint venture between Helpmann Academy and Solstice Media, the program connects experienced arts writers with emerging voices. Applications are welcome from emerging creatives who have an interest in arts writing and are graduates from an eligible program – from any discipline – at one of Helpmann Academy’s partner institutions.

The successful mentee will be matched with an InReview mentor who will be assigned based on the interests and background of the mentee. The mentor will work with them in all aspects of writing reviews as well as providing career advice, and throughout the program the mentee will build their skills with the aim of producing a number of reviews for publication on InReview.

Two mentees – Gianluca Noble and Michelle Wakim – have previously completed the program, with Wakim saying the opportunity to work closely with experienced people in the industry accelerated her growth as a writer.

Applications for the next mentorship close on November 13, 2022, with the mentorship to take place between January 30 and April 7, 2023. Further details and an application form can be found here.

Avian-inspired concerts

Bowerbird Collective. Photo: Tiger Webb / ABC

Two concerts inspired by birds and incorporating visual projections alongside immersive soundscapes will be presented at Elder Hall this weekend as part of the Nature Festival.

The Evenings with Birdsong performances (tickets here) are by Bowerbird Collective, which was co-founded by violinist Simone Slattery and cellist Anthony Albrecht with the aim of making multi-media work that strengthens our emotional connections to the natural world.

“Life on Land’s Edge”, at 7.30pm on October 8 (World Migratory Bird Day), promises to take audiences on “an epic journey alongside migratory birds as they connect continents and cultures”. The second concert – the 2020 Ruby Award-winning “Where Song Began” – will take place at 7.30pm on October 9 and is a celebration of songbirds featuring music spanning 300 years alongside evocative visual projections.

Nature Festival runs from October 6-16, with the full program online.

New grants for regional artists

Country Arts SA is offering a range of new grants worth up to $50,000 to help regional artists and arts groups develop and present new work in regional South Australia.

Hip-hop duo Lolo and Papa are previous Country Arts SA grant recipients. Photo: Anya Mckee

With the aim of “incubating the stars of the future”, the Elevate Grants Program offers four categories of funding.

“Local & Live” offers 10 grants of up to $2000 to help regional performing artists present work at a regional South Australian venue or Country Arts SA arts centre, while “Explore” offers four grants of up to $10,000 for regional artists working in any art form to develop or explore new skills/ideas in residence in regional South Australia for up to four weeks (this could include things such as First Nations artists spending time on Country, or business development / professional development opportunities).

“Create” offers three grants of up to $30,000 for regional artists/arts groups to create new work in regional South Australia, and “Present” offers a single grant of $50,000 to present a new work made by regional artists working in any artform in regional South Australia.

Country Arts SA says the new grants were made possible through the State Government’s $8 million arts funding boost over four years, announced in June.

The 2022 round of the Elevate Grants Program closes on October 24, with more information available here.

‘Honeymoon killers’ on tour

State Opera production Love Burns is going on tour.

State Opera South Australia has announced the return of popular opera Love Burns, which will tour to regional SA and interstate from later this month.

The production, which had a short season in Adelaide last year, is based on the 1940s American serial killer couple dubbed “the honeymoon killers”, with the company saying it delivers “mischievous comedy with masterful musicality”.

Featuring music by Graeme Koehne and a libretto by Louis Nowra, it is part of the Lost Operas of Oz series championed by State Opera artistic director Stuart Maunder.

In conjunction with Country Arts SA, the first performance of the Love Burns tour will take place in Noarlunga before it travels to Darwin, Townsville, Toowoomba, Margaret River and Perth. The tour will end with performances in Mount Gambier, Renmark and Port Lincoln. All dates are on the State Opera website.

Bestselling author to share her wisdom

Fans of Sydney-based writer Kate Forsyth will have an opportunity to hear the author speak about her latest novel, The Crimson Thread, at a public lecture being presented this month by Flinders University.

Author Kate Forsyth. Photo: Amelia Soegijono

The university has appointed Forsyth as its inaugural writer in residence, with her week-long residency taking place from October 18. The author of more than 40 books for adults and children will provide guidance to creative writing students at Flinders through a series of workshops and story-writing consultations.

At the public lecture on October 20 at Flinders Victoria Square, Forsyth will share the true story behind The Crimson Thread and the research she undertook for the novel, which is a reimagining of “the Minotaur in the Labyrinth” myth and set in Crete during the Nazi occupation in World War II  (bookings here).

Details of the workshops for university staff and students can be found here, while a limited number of places are also available for a “kaffeeklatsch” (conversation over coffee) at Peter Rabbit in Hindley Street on October 23, which is open to the public.

Spring workshops for writers

Writers SA has launched its spring program, with a mixture of online and in-person events in Adelaide and regional areas across themes including true stories, feminist horror and fantasy writing.

The program, which runs from October until December, includes a Writer’s Toolbox workshop with the aforementioned Kate Forsyth on October 22 at the State Library’s Hetzel Lecture Theatre.

“Our spring program has a deliberate mix of both in-person and online events to spark ideas, connections and get writers writing,” says Writers SA statewide program manager Alysha Herrmann.

“I’m especially excited about Katrina Irawati Graham’s Feminist Horror session for Halloween and getting down into the nitty gritty with Nadia Bailey’s Writing Perfect Sentences.”

The program (details here) also features an in-person chat with true-crime author and podcaster Vikki Petraitis, and a showcase of young LGBTQIA+ writers in Whyalla during Feast Festival.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

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