Culture and heritage

Emerging artists shine in Signal Young Creatives Lab

26 February 2021

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 – we want to help make your vision a reality.

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

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

Through the Young Creatives Lab program, we supported writer and director AP Pobjoy and producer Bonny Scott to create a documentary about a coming-out story that spans 50 years through the Young Creatives Lab.

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 AP 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,” AP 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?  screened at Melbourne Queer Film Festival, on ABC TV’s Compass program, and 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.

Three people looking at a photo album with black and white photos in it.

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.”

AP 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,” AP said.

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

AP 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,” AP 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.”

Need more inspiration? Meet more Signal stars in Hustle and heart drives Signal’s young artists.

To learn more and find out how to apply, visit Signal Young Creatives Lab and subscribe to be first in-the-know when applications open.

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