Inspire Tasmania: A Matter of Cultural Sustainable Development

Karen Choir Hobart - The Karen people are a culturally and linguistically diverse ethnic group

The Migrant Resource Centre Inc. (MRC) in Southern Tasmania has launched Inspire, an innovative and vibrant program connecting Tasmanian performing artists to a broader community. The project’s website introduces a range of artists—migrants and refugees alike—bringing multicultural creative practices to the fore. They are talented individuals and groups of musicians, dancers, and public speakers who have been selected for their exceptional cultural skills and their ability to deliver professional performances in a range of settings. Tasmanian Chinese Community, for example, can present 56 different Chinese ethnic performances incorporated with traditional Chinese instruments. The Neeraalaya School of Dance is Tasmania’s premier Bharatanatyam dance troupe while Shuang Zhang is a conservatorium trained Chinese opera singer and dancer.

Inspire is funded by the Tasmanian government, Department of State Growth, while its website receives funding from the Tasmanian government, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Communities, Sport and Recreation. On its website, the performing artists are shown with a brief introduction about their own stories and expertise.1. The public can access the site and request performer(s) accordingly.

The performing artists get every opportunity to showcase their talents; in return, already-existing communities can experience their distinct performance for free. They say it is generating “common benefit and mutual prosperity.” MRC is not just giving the performing artists an online platform but more importantly it is helping them receive appropriate professional training to further refine their competence. Also, bi-cultural workers and volunteers have supported Inspire participants throughout the program. It is expected that this project can contribute to settle cultural sustainable development in Tasmania.

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1. There is a video interview of the artists on the ABC News site: