CAN’s program of community-led artistic and creative projects has been designed to transform lives and leave communities stronger.
For the first time Lullabies participants joined Noongar language facilitator Charmaine Councillor and musician Phil Bartlett from their own homes in weekly online workshops to learn the basics of Noongar language and song writing.View project
Honouring the strength, resilience, and cultural pride of Yued people, Place Names Moora brought to the fore previously untold stories from Yued Country.View project
Place Names is a five year program aimed at engaging communities across Noongar country and beyond in the Aboriginal stories, language and culture of each place. The project is an initiative based on Professor Len Collard’s long term research. CAN’s federally funded initiative aims to explore the meaning of towns and places with Noongar names, bringing them to life through film and art and encourage the use of the Noongar words for places that were used pre-colonisation.
Building on Professor Collard’s well-established research, CAN’s focus is to work closely with communities to explore the Noongar language origins of town and place names using a variety of contemporary art forms that reflect language, place and identity.
CAN has produced Place Names programs in:
In 2020 CAN will be working in Walyalup // Fremantle for the next iteration of Place Names.
Place Names is a Community Arts Network Project supported through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program, The Australia Council for the Arts and Principal Partner Moodjar Consultancy
Place names in the southwest of Western Australia are commonly derived from Noongar, the Aboriginal language of the region. However, the story of these place names is yet to be fully appreciated. As Noongar language is the basis of geographical nomenclature for many names for towns, localities and landmarks in the southwest, current, comprehensive and critical research and analysis of Noongar language documentation is required to interpret and reveal the ancient meanings of these names.
CAN and Annette Carmichael Projects are collaborating to develop Chorus.
Chorus is a community dance project which is led by choreographer Annette Carmichael with a team of artists working across dance, sound and design.
The project celebrates the strength of women and speaks for equality and safety for our sisters, daughters, friends and mothers.
The choreography will be created to suit your culture, body and ability. The project will finish with the creation of a dance performance by more than 100 women from local communities.
Since 2017 CAN has worked with Noongar artists, Elders and their families to shape the Lullabies program, reviving Noongar language through stories, music and song. Lullabies focuses on the creation and recording of original songs, written and performed in language by the Noongar community.
Songwriting, dollmaking and yarning have enhanced the understanding and sharing between generations, eliciting songs that honour family stories, memories and connections. More than 50 original songs have been written and recorded as a part of the Lullabies program, each song enabling the next generation to form a deeper connection to their language, culture, and community.
With each face-to-face ‘edition’ of Lullabies – at Midvale, Collie, Bunbury and Mandurah – CAN has partnered with local community organisations such as child care centres and the South West Aboriginal Medical Service to support Noongar families to participate. In 2020, Lullabies online offered another way of delivering this unique and much-loved program.
All songbooks and albums produced during the project are available free of charge and available to order online.
In 2018 Water Corporation and CAN partnered to deliver a Splash of Colour model using a community art and cultural development approach to celebrate the community’s connection to water, water conservation and the important role this plays in the future of Western Australia.
Over the next two years CAN delivered two colourful murals in Westminster and Guildford that were designed by and developed with the community, working in partnership with Local Government and local community groups. This approach worked to deepen engagement with local community and stakeholders while increasing community awareness and ownership of the project.
Lotterywest Dream Plan Do is a unique mentoring program designed to strengthen the skills of community groups who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD), and would like to develop community arts projects to celebrate their stories and experiences.
As well as being able to access funding to make their creative project a reality, community leaders participate in a structured professional development program that covers various aspects of arts production, project management and budgeting, while experienced industry mentors support them to plan, develop and deliver their project idea.
Lotterywest Story Street was a collection of community arts projects that took place over two years and sought to provide creative spaces for under-represented culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities to safely share their stories, express identity and build community connections.
Lotterywest Story Street had several important aims, including: removing barriers of access and supporting under-represented communities to participate in the arts; supporting participants to develop skills of cultural self-expression; encouraging intergenerational knowledge and sharing; and increasing understanding of culture, race and solidarity.
Although diverse in their nature, all Lotterywest Story Street projects celebrated rich cultural heritages and stories within outer metropolitan Perth.
Rekindling Stories on Country shared powerful voices and stories from Noongar country through contemporary art. Developed in consultation with Elders and community members, the program brought together people from different generations so that important community and personal narratives of history, culture and place could emerge.
A diverse range of professional artists and facilitators mentored participants through creative processes that delivered an incredible array of artistic outcomes – including poetry, clay sculpture, printed textiles and yarn weavings. The creative processes also encouraged intergenerational knowledge-sharing and strengthened community leadership. In many cases, it created new creative and professional pathways for participants, too.
By engaging with local, national and international audiences, Rekindling Stories on Country facilitated the sharing of Noongar language and culture with the broader community.
Providing a safe, inclusive environment for young people from diverse backgrounds to explore and express their identity through the art of spoken word poetry, Common Ground led by Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, was brought to life in Perth by CAN working in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria.
A platform for the voices of young people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, Common Ground is a multilingual, multifaith project that uses spoken word poetry to build connection, confidence and understanding. A series of artist-led workshops enabled participants to learn poetry and performance techniques while exploring contemporary issues and shared personal stories, leading to a showcase of powerful spoken word poetry performances in Perth.