Blak Pearl Studio Fires Up in Fitzroy with Yarra Arts Room to Create

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Two people, looking down towards a table where they are creating art. One person is wearing a leopard print top, and the other is wearing a white singlet.
Blak Pearl Creative Studio Members at the Studio

Blak Pearl Creative Studio is new creative drop-in space for Aboriginal Peoples in Yarra coordinated by Future Tense and supported through Yarra's Room to Create Program and Annual Community Arts Grants. 

Following a successful EOI application to the Room to Create Program, in 2022 Blak Pearl Studios will launch their culturally safe and multifaced studio that accommodates the artistic and communal needs of Aboriginal Peoples experiencing socio-economic disadvantage and discrimination. The studio is supported by a coalition of health and advocacy groups in Yarra and is currently led by Uncle Frank Wandin, Aunty Tracey Briggs and Aunty Annie Gunmara who make up the Elder Advisory Committee. Based at the rear of Florence Peel Centre on Young Street in Fitzroy, the project works closely with partner organisations in the area, including Fitzroy’s long standing Parkies Group.

Uncle Ringo Wurundjeri Elder describes the studio as “a golden opportunity for a friendly safe space for my people here in Collingwood and Fitzroy in the city and all the black fellas there”. The first year of the pilot program will see opportunities for the community to come together creatively and be provided with artistic and cultural tools such as paint, drawing materials, wood working, skins, IT equipment and a storage area to house and exhibit work. Users will have access to these resources as well as meals and staff to assist with developing their practices.

The Blak Pearl Studio initiative will support the creative endeavours and personal development of Aboriginal People’s that cannot access mainstream creative studios due to discrimination, social-isolation, accessibility difficulties, or lack of financial support. Room to Create keeps the arts in Yarra by directly supporting eligible artists and arts organisations with space to work and fostering more affordable and sustainable creative spaces. 

The Yarra City Council Room to Create Charitable Fund is a charitable fund account managed by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Head to the Room to Create Page to find out more about the program and Room to Create Fund.


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