The Melbourne Fringe Festival, Victoria’s most vibrant independent arts showcase, announces new support programs as it invites artists from all disciplines to apply to be a part of Melbourne Fringe 2016.
Melbourne Fringe is asking our city to step into the light. The Festival will illuminate different perspectives, searchlight new artists, spotlight artistic innovation, shed light on new ideas, and focus our city spaces so we see them anew.
Simon Abrahams, Creative Director & CEO says “We have big plans for Melbourne Fringe this year – I really think there’s never been a more exciting time to join our community of participating artists.”
In 2016 Melbourne Fringe introduces ‘Compass’, a new, inclusive mentorship and skills development program for artists and producers with and without disability. Compass is a development program offering business skills and industry knowledge necessary to embark on a career in the arts.
Participants will be paired with an industry mentor, gain access to professional networks, learn producing, project and marketing skills and receive one-on-one support for their Festival event.
Artists and producers who are not presenting work in the 2016 Festival are also welcome to submit an expression of interest for consideration.
This new initiative is supported by Gandel Philanthropy and attracted matched funding from Creative Partnerships Australia.
Compass will be delivered in partnership with Arts Access Victoria, Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. Compass is a central part of Melbourne Fringe’s commitment to breaking down barriers to participation for all artists.
From 2016, Ralph Mclean Microgrants will be launched, providing two microgrants of $1250. Each will be offered to enable new artists from diverse backgrounds to present their first ever Melbourne Fringe work.
Ralph Mclean (1957-2010) was Chair of Melbourne Fringe from 1986 – 1991 and a member of our Board until 1998. Ralph Mclean’s passion was celebrating diversity and art in all its forms. Melbourne Fringe is proud to continue his legacy with Fringe through this new grant initiative.
Each project will be mentored by a member of Melbourne Fringe producing staff to be presented in the 2016 Festival.
“Our festival is the greatest platform for discovery – a chance for artists at all stages of their careers to take creative risks and present their work to an audience that is up for pretty much anything. All our registered artists have access to our artist development and support programs,” says Abrahams.
Expressions of Interest for Compass Professional Development Program and Ralph Mclean Grant open Monday, 29 February 2016 and close Monday 28 March 2016.
For more information see melbournefringe.com.au.

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