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Click to enlarge Man with his ear on a rock surrounded by an oyster outcrop

Image: Jaye Carcary and Tessa
Bergan, LENS 2019

About this opportunity

In 2018 the City of Gold Coast Arts and Culture Unit piloted a new online platform for Gold Coast artists to showcase their work – LENSGC. The 2018 project engaged four two-person writer + photographer teams of ‘narrative makers’, working collaboratively to develop discourse and strong digital creative content within a Gold Coast context.

In 2019 eight teams of two will be selected to participate. The first six teams — Collabs 1 to 6 have been selected. The City's Arts and Culture Unit are seeking expressions of interest from teams or individual practitioners (to be allocated into teams) to build the final collaborative partnerships for the year — Collab 7 and Collab 8. We are seeking applicants practice in one of the following specialty areas to work with a Team Leader and Cultural Influencer — writers/poets, digital content creators, photographers, film makers/videographers, sound artists.

The final two teams for 2019 will be supported to present Gold Coast arts and cultural activity via a new lens, framing our distinctly Gold Coast artists and art forms through a fresh approach, strengthening the visibility of local artistic voices and representing the Gold Coasts unique cultural identity. Each team will collaborate to create 12 digital expressions over a two week period to be posted on Instagram @lensgoldcoast over the course of the project. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Instagram platform to see what the 2018 and 2019 participants have created.

2019 Theme

Each LENS GC theme has a Team Leader and a Cultural Influencer who will oversee and promote the teams’ collaboratively produced digital content throughout the duration of the project. The theme for the final collaborations for the year is: STAND.

Inspired by the REM song of the same title, we are asking you to take a moment to do just that. ‘Stand in the place where you live….think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before’. REM lead singer Michael Stipe says of the song
— "It’s about making decisions and actually living your life rather than letting it happen. It surprises me when I walk by a parking lot and I’ve been walking by that parking lot for eight years but, for the first time, I look at it and say, ‘My God! There’s a parking lot!’ And I wonder why, for eight years, I’ve chosen not to look at it."

Teams are invited to take a look around, discover, explore and share your Gold Coast — create new collaborative works of art that speak to your experience of the Gold Coasts unique and unlikely places. This is not a travel log, nor is it a tourism promo shoot — it is your creative expression and/or impression of the place you call home.

Who should apply

This program is available to teams or individual practitioners (to be allocated into teams) who practice in one of the following specialty areas — writers/poets, digital content creators, photographers, film makers/videographers, sound artists. Culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Support provided

  • Stipend: A total fee of $2,500 for the duration of the project will be offered to each team member. It is expected that each team will contribute a minimum of 12 social media posts over the course of the project. Each team will be active on a casual basis during the project delivery dates relevant to their theme. (Note: It is the responsibility of the successful applicant to manage their own taxation and superannuation affairs).
  • Each team will be mentored and guided by a Team Leader to curate your team’s plan of action. This will take place during the Project Induction Session.
  • A project induction and debrief session with the successful applicants, Team Leader and City of Gold Coast representative will provide a structured overlay for additional reflection, feedback and guidance to ensure the project experience is maximised.

What to expect

Over the duration of the project, it is expected that each team will spend their time collaboratively on the research, planning and implementation of subject matter for the creation of digital content. Teams will work with their relevant Team Leader and Cultural Influencer to distribute the content created through social media platforms, including the LENSGC account. Teams can expect to spend time travelling to various locations around the Gold Coast to create content.

Key dates

  • EOIs open: Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • EOIs close: Sunday 27 October 2019 (11:59pm AEST)
  • Notification of interviews: Wednesday 30 October 2019
  • Interviews conducted: Wednesday 6 November 2019
  • Notifications of outcomes: By Friday 15 November 2019
  • Project delivery dates: 27 November to 11 December 2019
  • Project induction session: Wednesday 20 November 2019
  • Project debrief session: Friday 13 December 2019

To apply

Please submit a completed Expression of Interest Form, including required supporting material, by 11.59pm AEST 27 October 2019 through the SmartyGrants portal.


Applicants must:

  • be a resident of the Gold Coast
  • be a permanent resident or Australian citizen
  • be over 18 years of age by the application due date
  • show evidence a creative practice.

Selection criteria

This opportunity encourages the development of discourse and strong digital content around arts and culture broadly, and visual arts, theatre and performance in particular within the local Gold Coast context, while underscoring the value of quality digital content in this scope.

Applicants to LENSGC will require a sound knowledge of contemporary arts and culture to be eligible to apply. The selection criteria have been developed based on the impact the City hopes to have on its communities and the program objectives. Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated high quality approach to art form, with focus on strong digital content in relation to social media platforms and relevance to arts and culture on the Gold Coast
  • In alignment with your arts practice — demonstrated originality of voice/approach and written content, quality image, sound and video creation and capacity to reach relevant audiences within the relevant scope.
  • Ability to develop digital content that will resonate with the community and align with arts and culture on the Gold Coast.

Selection process

  • Applications will be assessed by a selection panel comprised of the Team Leaders and a representative from City of Gold Coast’s Arts and Culture Unit.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview with the selection panel.
  • Two teams of two will be selected based on their EOI and interview.

After applicants have been notified of the outcome of their EOI, successful applicants will meet with the relevant Team Leader to discuss project schedules, activities and outcomes moving forward.

All enquiries

Arts and Culture Program Lead – Sector Development
City of Gold Coast
PO Box 5042
Phone: 07 5582 9220

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