Tassie-based arts group nets prestigious award

By Staff Writer
One of the country’s most prolific arts and social change organisation’s, Big hART, has won the highly prestigious Group Award in the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards.
The Tasmanian-based Big hART works with marginalised communities and individuals from all over Australia by fostering their participation in the arts.
“It’s an honour that Big hART has been presented with this award and testament to the hard work the company has been doing for the last 17 years,” said Big hART co-founder Scott Rankin on receiving the award.
“However, it is the people in the communities that we work with that are the true heroes, as they share their stories with privileged Festival goers around the country.”
Multi-award winning writer-director Rankin has created over 20 productions with the company, capturing unusual and inspiring stories which create new Australian works for national and international art festivals. 
Projects include the critically acclaimed Ngapartji Ngapartji, a theatre work and Pitjantjatjara language and cultural learning experience; Stickybricks with public housing tenants in inner city Sydney; Radio Holiday, an outdoor radio phonic work performed as a small shack community with its own radio station; and Junk Theory, a floating film, portraiture and sound installation, performed on a Chinese junk.
Co-founded in 1992 Big hART has worked with over 4300 people, working primarily with disadvantaged people in regional, rural and isolated areas of Australia.
The company works across art forms and creates theatre, film, television, painting, photography, dance, new media, radio and jewelry radio.
Over 150 professional artists have worked with Big hART including Kerry Armstrong, Rachel Ward, Deborah Mailman, Kerry Walker, Glynn Nicholas and Trevor Jamieson.
“We would like to invite professional artists to work within our programs they are fantastic mentors and can expect unusual and rewarding work with the company,” said Rankin.
In the last three years Big hART has been invited to many major Australian arts festival including the Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth Festivals..
Two of Big hART’s productions, This Is Living – involving 301 people, bringing together young skateboarders and the elder to look at dignity and the right to live and die  – and Junk Theory – a social harmony installation on a Chinese Junk – are currently on tour to in the Ten Days On The Island Festival in Tasmania, from 27 March to 5 April.
The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were created in 1984 by the Sidney Myer Fund to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of Sidney Myer and to commemorate his life and cultural interests.

The Awards are primarily intended to enhance the status of the performing arts in Australia and pay tribute to outstanding achievement in drama, comedy, dance, music, opera, circus and puppetry.

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