Seeking artists for Signal Young Creatives Lab

Are you a young artist with a big idea? Whether you film, paint, write, record, dance, act, curate, compose or create work totally outside the box – Signal wants to hear about it.

The Signal Young Creatives Lab invites emerging creative practitioners to propose new ideas to be realised in collaboration with expert facilitators at Signal, the City of Melbourne’s creative studio for young people.

Applications for the next round of funding are open from Monday 1 March to Friday 26 March at 5pm.

Fast facts

  • The Young Creatives Lab offers grants of $5000 to $8000 per project.
  • Applicants must be aged between 18 and 25.
  • Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Proposals may include any new creative project.
  • Artists will have access to Signal facilities, mentoring, and producing and marketing support.

Meet two Young Creatives Lab artists

During last year’s Young Creatives Lab program, we supported writer and director Abbie Pobjoy and producer Bonny Scott to create a documentary about a coming-out story that spans 50 years.

Their subjects were Francesca Curtis and Phyllis Papps, who were the first lesbian couple to come out on national television, during an interview on the ABC’s This Day Tonight program in 1970.

Phyllis and Francesca became the public face of change, and Abbie and Bonny’s documentary – Why Did She Have To Tell The World? – showcases the pair’s journey as writers, researchers and activists over half a century.

‘Signal was the first organisation to fund the project. It was essentially the launching pad of our documentary,’ Abbie said.

‘The Young Creatives Lab allowed us a budget and a mentorship with Executive Producer Sue Maslin to get our film into production. We also got to meet with some amazing artists who were also selected for the program.’

Why Did She Have To Tell The World? will screen at Melbourne Queer Film Festival on 13 and 19 of March at Cinema Nova and on ABC TV’s Compass program on 14 and 21 March. It will also be available on ABC iview.

‘It has been so incredible to form such a close and strong friendship with these women. We have been able to close the generational gap and connect to two incredibly important elders in our community,’ Bonny said.

The young artists said they felt an innate connection with Francesca and Phyllis.

‘I am still amazed when people approach us from that generation and tell stories of the struggles endured to bring equality to the community. I think this film will preserve their history for the younger generations to see.’

Abbie and Bonny’s next documentary will focus on the connections between LGBTQIA+ people in inner city regions and remote rural fringes.

‘We want to be able to make real change for queer people, which also includes those who don’t have access to community,’ Abbie said.

‘We will continue to work in the LGBTQIA+ community to bring forth stories that are hidden within the mainstream media. Both Abbie and I will keep fighting to put queer stories on the big screen,’ Bonny said.

Abbie and Bonny encourage young artists to apply for funding through Signal.

‘The Young Creatives Lab supports all different types of art-forms. So, if you think you have something to say and make, make sure to apply,’ Abbie said.

‘No idea is too big or small for the Young Creatives Lab team,’ Bonny said.

‘They truly believe in giving young people a leg up into the arts industry and give fantastic mentoring opportunities along the way. I would encourage anyone to give it a go.’

How to apply

Are you interested in applying for the Signal Young Creatives Lab? Simply tell us your idea and complete a budget outlining creative personnel, production costs and materials required through this application form,

If you’d like to ask questions, Signal is hosting information sessions on Wednesday 10 March at 5.30pm and 6.30pm at Signal, and on Wednesday 17 March at 6pm via Zoom.

The selection process

Successful applicants will be chosen by a panel of industry peers and Signal creative staff. Priority will be given to projects that are innovative, clearly expressed, achievable and impactful on your professional development.

Applicants must be available to take part in the Signal Lab Intensive on 15 and 16 July and projects must be delivered between August 2021 and May 2022, within the City of Melbourne municipality.

Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their submission by Friday 30 April.