Propel Youth Arts, established in 2003, is the peak body for youth arts in Western Australia. It is a membership-based organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for young people aged 18-30 to engage in the Arts, and an invaluable information resource for talented emerging artists in WA.
Amplifier was first conceived as a workshop and forum series aimed at improving the arts business skills of young and emerging artists and arts workers in WA. It ran for the first time in 2009 and was oversubscribed by 100 people. Clearly, there was a need for this type of informal training in the Perth arts community. Amplifier ran again in 2010 and 2011, this time reaching even more eager young and emerging artists. The Foundation supported the delivery of the third successful workshop and forum series in 2011, which had some innovative new elements.
Selected Amplifier participants and workshop facilitators were asked in 2011 to take part in an Advisory Committee for the future of the program. From this process - as well as consultation with key Propel staff and Board members - the Amplifer publication was suggested as the strongest, most equitable way to take the program forward. Propel also realised the value of making this information available to anyone, any time and decided to create an online and in print resource: the Amplifier Business Guide.
The project took a little longer, and cost a little more, than estimated (though costs were kept down due to the time given by very generous volunteers). As work was done on the guide it was decided that more and more pieces of information should be included, and it grew bigger and bigger. A team of five young people worked on the project: a combination of Propel staff, artists and volunteers. The guide is a great credit to their thought and hard work.
Compared to annual workshop and forum sessions, a downloadable/published guide is a more cost-effective way of sharing valuable career and professional development information to enfranchise young, emerging artists. It is available as a PDF or can be read online on the Propel website - Propel expects that this will be the main access point for its tech-savvy audience - and 150/200 printed copies were to be made available. The beauty of having an online guide is that it can be updated with new information; keeping it useful and relevant.
In the long-term, the resource has the capacity to have a significant impact on the capabilities, professionalism and viability of the WA arts sector.
An easy-to-reference, easily digestible 128 page guide has been produced. It compiles three years’ knowledge on a range of topics including creative marketing, applying for grants, publishing, finding venues and spaces, project management, pricing products and services, arts law and finance. It also includes interviews with local artists and leads to further helpful information. The guide is indispensable for young WA artists embarking on their careers.
Although specifically made for talented emerging West Australian creatives, the Amplifier guide will help all young and emerging artists or arts workers gain the knowledge required when developing their arts projects or businesses.