A Lower South West arts body was one of 10 recipients of the latest round of Federal Government regional arts grants. More than $230,000 was allocated in the latest round by Regional Arts WA through the Regional Arts Fund spanning multiple artistic disciplines across theatre, dance, film, music, sculpture and visual arts, circus, opera, and textile art. This year’s Regional Visual Arts Summit will be boosted by the $30,000 allocated to Southern Forest Arts, which contributes to the co-delivered event by providing bursaries. SFA creative director and general manager Fiona Sinclair said these crucial bursaries will afford regional visual arts workers — including emerging–to-established and independent-to-employed artists, arts workers and arts organisation representatives — opportunities to cultivate connections and creative leadership through the summit. “The fantastic thing about the funding is it is distributed to artists and arts workers across the State,” she said. “It means people can access the opportunity — without bursaries artists just can’t go.” More than 30 creatives from across all nine regions of WA will participate in a three-day summit held in Perth to focus collective energy on increased connection, collaboration and sustainability within WA’s regional visual arts sector. “The summit will help interconnect and build capacity in the regional visual arts sector,” she said. “It’s such a disadvantage living regionally so we need government support to help us achieve equity with our metro counterparts. “We need Government to step in and ensure that if you live in the regions you have access to the same opportunities that people in the cities do for networking, for training and for empowerment.” Regional Arts WA chief executive Dr Pilar Kasat said each project in this round provides opportunities for high levels of creative artistry to flourish and enrich the lives of West Australians across the State. “The sense of history and place conveyed through many of these activities will strengthen the already powerful connections remote and regional communities have with their environment, their heritage and each other,” he said. South West writer, producer, puppet and theatre maker Sky River ($29,124), and South West artist Cara Ratajczak ($27,864) were among the recipients. Federal Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said the Federal Government was increasing its support for the Regional Arts Fund by an additional $8.5 million over the next four years to promote a thriving arts scene across the country.