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The Boroondara Arts Initiative is an annual project which invites artists and creative producers to deliver artistic work co-designed with the Boroondara community. The initiative follows the Making Art with Communities Work Guide framework principles which is available on the Creative Victoria website-external site.

Successful applicants receive project guidance and financial support to present a new or existing work that engages the local community. This work can be in any art form, however in 2023, we encourage artists or creative producers who work with craft and textiles to apply.


Our objective is to create a new work that will foster a sense of community with City of Boroondara residents of all ages and backgrounds. The Boroondara Arts Initiative project aims to: 

  • engage the community 
  • capture and share the journey of how the community participated
  • deliver an outcome that celebrates the community.


The Boroondara Arts Initiative project aims to encourage community participation by:

  • creating a culture of inclusion that inspires people to engage with the arts
  • creating meaningful partnerships that promote and strengthen cultural experiences for everyone
  • working with internal departments to promote and strengthen cultural experiences for everyone.


The process for the Boroondara Arts Initiative project includes: 

  • finding ways to increase opportunities for the Boroondara community to engage through art
  • supporting a process that promotes and advocates for a sense of community, health, wellbeing and safety.


The outcome of the Boroondara Arts Initiative project will include creating an artwork that reflects the community’s uniqueness. This could include:

  • an expression of the community's needs
  • the community's aspirations
  • the community's inspirations
  • sense of place and pride
  • an artwork that can be adapted or replicated in other communities
  • professional development opportunities for the artists.


You can submit an application through the SmartyGrants website using the button below.

Submit an application-external site

Important dates

  • 22 August 2022: Applications open
  • 11 October 2022: Applications close
  • October 2022: Shortlisting 
  • October 2022: Applicants are notified.

More information

For more information, you can contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling us on (03) 9278 4770.

Past projects

If these leaves could talk (2020)

If leaves could talk image

Boroondara has a rich botanical history, just imagine what the trees have seen and heard! 

The 2020 Boroondara Arts Initiative project was 'If these leaves could talk', led by local artist Emily Shannon. Emily led the community through a series of free online activities, which contributed to a community art installation at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Activities included visual storytelling, drawing and sustainable art and craft and were aimed for everyone to participate. The art materials needed for the activities were everyday household items, readily accessible in the home.

Each activity included easy-to-use instructions, a short video that showed participants how to complete the activity and templates, along with images, for what the final outcome should have been.

Once completed, community members were encouraged to share their work on social media with the hashtag #BoroondaraArtsWithYou.

Community members also had the opportunity to contribute some of their artwork for the final community art installation.


A Cultured Place (2019)

A cultured place image

In 2019, Boroondara Arts commissioned theatre-maker David Williams to create 'A Cultured Place', a new participatory performance work to be created with different members of the Boroondara community.

'A Cultured Place' reflected the Boroondara community’s uniqueness and began to open a new conversation about the place of art and culture in rethinking daily life. Part talk-show, part confessional and part celebration, 'A Cultured Place' was a truly unique theatre experience.

A performance of the work took place at the Kew Courthouse on 8 December 2019.

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