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Past Projects Archive

Since 1992 Kickstart Arts has been producing arts projects across all art forms in which professional artists work with community members to explore their connection to each other, their place, history as well as personal and collective story.


Our projects also connect people with deeper issues in contemporary thought, culture, politics and society. For example, inviting explorations of the true nature of happiness in regional Tasmanian communities. These conversations bring a deeper dimension to community creativity - inviting particular and specific storytelling through a topic that has profound universal relevance.


The Garden of Spring

A Tasmanian Afghan music and dance event unlike any other that has been held in Tasmania to date.

Billed as a celebration of new growth and a flourishing of culture and new communities, members of the Afghan community in Tasmania were invited to come to the Kickstart Arts centre for a special event featuring Afghani and Persian music dancing and feasting. 


Local band Paywand played traditional tunes and joined forces with master musicians who we brought from Melbourne for the event. 


Despite torrential rain on the day, 360 people attended the event – travelling from as far as Launceston. A team of local Afghani women cooked huge pots of delicious traditional Afghan food, everybody dressed in their best clothes and whole families with men, women and children came from all over the state to attend the seven-hour event. 


The biggest challenge we faced was was catering for the immense interest, because the venue was a bit small for the large audience. A jumpy castle and other children’s activities helped as did the ability to utilise the outdoor areas. 


A particular feature of the event was the women’s dance session. The men were asked to leave the hall, and were served tea in the garden whilst the women were free to dance inside. When the curtains were drawn, many of the assembled women let their hair down, some changed into sparkly dresses and danced in traditional style. 


Save the Tassie Devil:

an "Art for the Dole" Program

Tasmania's first ever art-based Work for the Dole program.


Using art as a medium for social change, we are currently producing a large scale street artwork on a 30 metre wide wall at a Hobart CBD car park that highlights the plight of Tasmanian Devils on our roads.


The devastating Facial Tumour Disease is threatening the wild population of Devils, and a captive breeding program was instigated to preserve healthy Devils. Over 40% of released healthy Devils have been killed on our roads. This is unsustainable, and without driver commitment to slow down by at least 20 kph on designated kill hot spots, these numbers will escalate as population numbers increase.


We chose a car park as a site for the artwork because thousands of drivers will pass the painting depicting beautiful Tasmanian flora and the Devil, and we are asking them directly to consider their role in preserving this amazing animal. Project director Caroline Amos is working with experienced street artist and muralist Jamin to create the artwork with 25 people who are currently seeking employment.

The street artwork has an interactive digital element featuring animation, projection & sound art created by participants led by artists Matt Daniels, Matthew Fargher and Cary Littleford. 


This enables people to trigger images and sounds by accessing an online controller on their smart phones, and there will be touch sensitive interactive paint on walls and pillars that triggers images on different surfaces around the mural site.  We’ve used VJ tools and different methods of triggering video and sound in order to make the mural come alive and add a compelling dimension, asking people to help shape the environment they live in by slowing down and spending just 2 minutes to help save a species.



  • My Pathway 

  • Workskills


The Living Room Project

The Living Room Project was a partnership between Catholic Care and Kickstart Arts during 2016.


Building on the concept of a ‘Living Room,' Kickstart Arts furnished a room with carpets and cushions in 1831 South for Afghan Hazara women to utilise for social gatherings, events and meetings with local service providers.

The program sought to address issues that restrict recent arrivals from accessing social and economic support to improve settlement and employment outcomes.  Over the six month period the room was decorated with photographs of each event.  

Local Area Co-ordinators of health, social and other services were invited to share an Afghan lunch whilst providing opportunities for conversations relating to the well being of recent migrants. The project aimed to give participants the confidence to advocate for their own needs, to create pathways between service providers and break down barriers to successful community engagement.

Over 6 months, the women were offered workshops in yoga, dance and art, and the project connected with the following services:

  • Glenorchy Council Aldermen

  • Royal Hobart Women’s Health Services

  • Colony 47 Housing

  • Local Area Service Providers of Health/Education/Family Welfare

  • Centrelink

Artistic outcomes include:

  • A large scale painting of the Blue Mosque, now installed in a restaurant in Moonah.

  • Dance gatherings and movement workshops 

  • Food as art - food mandalas

  • Embroidery 

  • Drawing and painting activities

  • Suitcase installations 

  • A film about homeland and the travel need for relocation to Tasmania. 

Over six months the living room became a vibrant installation of images of the program, and stories relating to migration and resettlement in Tasmania.

The project wound up with a celebration, sharing music and food with the women’s families and friends.

The Happiness Project (2010-16)

Positive mental health & literacy promotion

Artists, educators, health and community workers collaborated with people of all ages in regional Tasmania to make beautiful short films and animations about what true happiness means to them.

Between 2010 and 2016 Kickstart Arts collaborated with 1,636 people from 8 Tasmanian communities to make 67 short films and animations and 2 story maps of rural towns. These art works were screened to in cinema audiences of 6,224 and many thousands more online. 


This ever growing collection of stories tell us about the positive, generous and creative spirit of people in regional Tasmanian communities as well as their strong sense of community and connection to place.

“I am inspired by stories of Tasmanians living in the midst of hardship and finding things to celebrate. People who create sustenance from small gardens and slender pay packets… In every community, there are elders and visionaries – gifted people - who offer news, new horizons, special treasures, and guidance to those about them. What a joy to know such great people are in our midst.”  

Roger Scholes – Artist, Writer, Film and Television Maker

Counting up to happiness (2016)

A retrospective short film festival featuring 20 short films made over the last six years was screened at The Peacock Theatre at the Salamanca Arts Centre from Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 24. 

The festival featured 4 new films made during 2016 by young people from diverse backgrounds collaborating with professional Tasmanian filmmakers Roger Scholes, Troy Melville, Richard Bladel & David Pyefinch 

A public forum exploring the question “Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?” on Sunday July 24 investigated what we can do as individuals and as a community to bring about positive change in mental health in Tasmania.

The forum was chaired by Dave Noonan, Radio presenter on Heart 1073; and featured the following speakers:

  • Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Philosophy Lecturer at UTAS; 

  • Dr Bruno Cayoun, Clinical Psychologist & principal developer of MiCBT;

  • Deborah Mills, Arts & Cultural Policy Advocate;

  • Jami Bladel, Artistic Director & CEO of Kickstart Arts, and

  • Justin Robinson, Director, Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School.

The conversation that ensued was fascinating. We aim to continue the project over the coming years.


Watch the happiness films here

2012 Happiness Project Evaluation

Rewired: Paul Allen

Journey from a severe head injury. 

Rewired is a story of resetting life. 

It takes the audience inside Paul’s descent into the nightmare of a living hell, his battle for survival against the odds, and his ultimate emergence and rebirth as an artist. 

Paul has come through an epic journey. After a near fatal accident, Paul spent time in deep coma. His coma experience was the equivalent of living in a post holocaust city, where he fought for his life. Paul says the memory of those days has the same quality as all his other memories – in his mind, he really lived it. To come to grips with the experience, Paul presents a series of beautifully executed drawings that illustrate the extraordinary world he inhabited whilst comatose.

2016 _11_07 Rewired Paul Allen.jpg

Before his nearly fatal accident and severe head injury, Paul was a Mechanical Engineer. Since the accident he has achieved a Diploma in Wood Design and studied for a Fine Arts Degree in Furniture at Utas. Paul published a book describing his coma world and recovery in detail,  titled ‘My Life as a Fish’.  The book has been 

re-published, now including Paul’s compelling drawings. This new edition is being launched at the exhibition opening and will be available for purchase.


The beautiful creations in this exhibition include drawings, unique furniture pieces and a short film. These works are a testament to Paul’s unique talents, his craftsmanship and not least - his unrelenting determination to create in the face of great adversity. 


Kickstart Arts are very proud to present this exhibition, and to support Paul in his ongoing journey as an emerging artist. The exhibition is testament to the creative and enduring power of the human spirit. 


Angels of Our Better Nature (2014-15)

(Winner of the Creative Partnerships Arts and Health Award)

What is the nature of caring and being cared for?
What brings out the best in us?

Kickstart Arts artists worked with people with acquired brain injuries to explore the dynamics of care in their lives through digital storytelling. They also designed a unique delivery system for the digital art. This second phase project further developed the creative skills of people with different abilities and raised awareness and understanding of the realities of their lives in the community. 

Thought provoking, sometimes heart wrenching, digital art works are presented in the Art Teller Machine; a 2.1 metre tall aluminium head that is touring various foyers around Tasmania, reaching thousands of audience members.  This wonderful and unusual sculptural object designed collaboratively by participants and a designer is a unique wandering interactive exhibition that presents these digital artworks in public spaces. 


Partners: Headway rebuilding lives

Links: Online Exhibition, Watch all 15 Videos



Contemporary fusion of dance, narrative, new music & projection art

Escape from war and the crazy struggle to fit in. Exciting fusion of projection art, dance, theatre and new music telling heart-breaking stories of refugee experience.


A collaboration with Salamanca Performing Arts Course in Entertainment (SPACE) Dance and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) to bring together young dancers and musicians from diverse backgrounds to explore the idea of the break - in music, dance, and in our lives.


“Community Arts and Cultural Development takes time to do well. Communities need to grow to trust each other, sharing their ideas, experiences and creativity on a slow burn for true engagement, enrichment and sustainable change.”   Kelly Drummond Cawthon, Creative Producer



  • Salamanca Arts Centre

  • SPACE Dance

  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

  • Ogilvie High School

Links: Breaking Offical Program, Breaking Song Lyrics

Teaching Artists in Residence (TARP)


Connecting through art-making.

TARP workshops were held at the Kickstart Arts Centre, connecting people through different kinds of art making experiences.  TARP artists offered fun art making workshops for people of different ages, cultures, abilities and interests. Some of the workshops that were on offer included: theatre, visual arts, hip hop; digital storytelling; video, animation, circus and drumming.


  • Social Circus Tasmania

  • Drum Up Big

  • Ogilvie High School

  • Child and Family Services

Links: Social Circus Tasmania, Drum Up big

Soap Box

Presentation of 5 images from Portraits of Invisible People on billboards in Mathers Lane, Hobart.


Partners: Headway rebuilding lives, Hobart City Council

Spit Fire (2012-13)

Education project developing literacy amongst disengaged young people in schools.


This project used the power of Hip Hop culture to engage and motivate young people to make their own music and write lyrics about who they are and where they come from.


Four young emerging hip hop artists worked with 104 young people to develop rhyming skills, lyric & music writing, sampling and sequencing, computer based beat making, d-jaying with turntables improvisation & performance skills. Thirty young people made their own beats to accompany their words and recorded a new song, all within hours of beginning.


Workshops & shows were held at: South Hobart Primary School; Festival of Voices, Hobart; NW College; Geeveston High School; Huonville High School and Dover High School.



  • Ruff Cut Records

  • South Hobart Primary School

  • Festival of Voices Hobart

  • NW College

  • Geeveston High School

  • Huonville High School

  • Dover High School


Behind the Clock

A series of workshops for young people in the Out of Home Care system.


Foster carers and Child Protection support workers were involved in:

  • Creative Recycled Art Production (CRAP) workshops - painting, collage and making creature puppets, using a large and colourful array of recycled materials then making animations using the creature puppets.

  • Hip Hop Workshops - Freestyle, Rap and Beat making workshops explored rhyming techniques, lyrical improvisation, rap and beat making.

  • Animation and Video workshops - young people devised their own scripts, shot and produced movie trailers and created their own characters. Explored stop animation techniques.



  • Foster Carers Association of Tasmania

  • Life Without Barriers

  • Create Foundation

  • DHHS Child Protection.


Mkono Kwa Mkono

This cross-cultural collaboration between singers, dancers and musicians was a celebration of traditional and contemporary African music & dance.


This dance theatre project in collaboration with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, east African communities and artists explored what brings us together in diversity.


The show opened to capacity houses at the Stanly Burbury Theatre in December 2012.


“Diversity is the strong root that holds society and Kickstart Arts is celebrating it with Tasmania in style. I love this so much. Please keep advancing this image. It is beautiful, it is colorful, it is fantastic and it is inclusive. God bless you Mkono Kwa Mkono.” African community leader



  • Salamanca Arts Centre

  • SPACE Dance

  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Rush of Blood

An interview and personal story-based video art project in the form of a digital quilt about what gives 48 Flinders Islanders ‘a rush of blood.’


It might be surfing, a roller coaster ride, a beautiful view or waves crashing on a beach under a full moon. This project celebrates a connection to the moment, to the joy and the heart pounding moments of life.



  • Flinders Council

  • Flinders Island District School

  • Flinders Island Cabin Park

  • The Grimshaw Family.

Link: Rush of Blood Videos 


Claiming Culture (2011-12)

Development of community dance culture in collaboration with Tasmanian Aboriginal communities.


The project began with extensive consultations with Aboriginal communities and the researching and publishing of Dancing Free: Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Aboriginal Dance and Song in the European Historical Record by historian James Boyce.


A series of Aboriginal Dance workshops were held with family groups at the nayri niara festival; formal and informal community discussions about Tasmanian Aboriginal dance were held and 4 Aboriginal dance events were produced over a long-weekend.



  • karadi Aboriginal Corporation

  • nayri niara Festival

Creative Community Radio

Skills and arts development in regional Tasmania.


16 keen young people from Oatlands in central Tasmania were mentored in both the technical and creative aspects of producing a high quality radio serial which explored issues relating to climate change and the possible effects on the local community.


Partners: 97.1 MID FM Community Radio, Southern Midlands Health Centre, Southern Midlands Council, Edge Radio.


Portraits of Invisible People

Telling the life stories of people with acquired brain injuries. 


Using a groundbreaking mixed media visual art installation led by the portrait photography of artist Sean Fennessy, this was the first phase of a 5-year project that helped develop the creative skills & confidence of people with different abilities and promoted understanding of their lives in the community. 


The multi art form installation explored different ways of being, it was presented at The Long Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre for 2 weeks in June 2010.

An image from this project was shortlisted in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2011.

Partners: Headway rebuilding lives 

Power Hip Hop (2009-10)

10 young rappers making new Hip Hop exploring power relationships in their lives.


Emerging rappers received mentoring from professional composers Don Bate and Simon Reid to create 7 new works for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to perform.  Power Hip Hop premiered at The Peacock Theatre in 2009, and was presented to sold out houses at the Theatre Royal in 2010.


Partners: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra


Home Truths Online

Online presentation of a CACD project 5 years later, with evaluation, interviews and insights into the impact of this ground-breaking project. 


Five years on, this interactive web site presents the art works made in 2004’s Home Truths installation and explores its accompanying concepts, including interviews with young people, artists and health workers.


Partners: Migrant Resource Centre, Pulse Youth Health Centre, DHSS Mental Health Rehabilitation Services & Tas CAHRD

Links: Home Truths 2009 Website, 2004 Home Truths Project

Stranded in Paradise

New theatre work promoting understanding of young people based in regional Tasmania.


What’s life like if you’re 15 years old and live in a small seaside town?

This new theatre work was written, developed and produced by a team of professional artists with young people from east coast regional Tasmanian towns of Swansea & Triabunna.  This comedy with mythic overtones uses metaphor and allegory to explore what it is to be young and growing up on the isolated East Coast of Tasmania.

It premiered in Swansea as part of the France to Freycinet Festival.



  • Triabunna District High School

  • Regional Health Services Tasmania

  • Tasmanian Regional Arts

  • Education Department

  • France to Freycinet Festival


Madame Tojo's Cafe

Original theatre and music production promoting intercultural understanding.


Being young can be challenging. Being young and having just arrived from a war torn African country can be more challenging still.  This large cast production showcased the skills & talents of culturally diverse young people and explored social and cultural issues facing young people from different backgrounds.


It premiered at the Elizabeth College theatre in late 2007.



  • Elizabeth College

  • Hobart City Council

  • Department of Education

  • Pulse Youth Health Centre.

Screen Power

Multi-art form exploration of notions of power in the lives of at-risk young people.


Being a teenager places you in a confusing position. How do you grow up to be yourself amongst the influences of teachers, parents, police and politics?


This project featured the creation of short films, cartoons, animation and zines by young people & artists.  A DVD was produced and a screenings of 15 short films and animations at Pulse Youth Health Centre and Moonah Arts Centre.



  • Pulse Youth Health Centre

  • Hobart City Council

  • Red Cross

  • Glenorchy City Council

  • Cosgrove High School


Baby Bonus

Promoting the physical skills and confidence of young mothers.


Kickstart Arts partnered with Centacare Tasmania to produce a series of performing arts workshops for young mothers.  These workshops provided an introduction to Circus, Dance and Theatre.

Partner: Centacare Tasmania


Positive health promotion through production of new music CD by people with mental illness.


The production of the CD Rising Above the Madness of the World expresses the feelings and perspectives of a group of 15 people living with mental illness through new original music and songs ranging from classical, folk, blues to grunge.


The new songs were performed live at a CD launch cabaret at The Polish Club in Newtown and at various events around Hobart.


Partners: Richmond Fellowship and DHSS Mental Health Rehabilitation Services


Every Wrinkle tells a Story

Intergenerational music theatre production promoting positive wellbeing for elders.


Stories of fierce bushfires, love on a horse and cart, the iceman and mortality.


This theatre production was devised with a group of 20 elders celebrating their stories of resilience & change and providing insight into the past for primary school audiences.


The show received critical acclaim and played for 2 sell out seasons at the Studio Theatre, University of Tasmania. 


Partners: Southern Cross Care, Guilford Young Grove and Sandown Village Eldercare, Hobart City Council, Glenorchy City Council, South Hobart Primary School.

Link: Evaluation


Home Truths

What does the concept of ‘home’ mean to a newly arrived refugee?
To a displaced young person born in Tasmania?


Home Truths was a ground breaking major arts project presenting the art making of newly arrived refugee people in Tasmania.


Six artists, four health agencies and 32 ‘at risk’ & refugee young people worked together in a series of workshops and camps to explore diverse notions of home.


The resulting mixed media installation utilising digital imaging, projections, video, audio, music, text, found objects, furniture and sculpture was exhibited at the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart in November 2004.



  • Migrant Resource Centre

  • Pulse Youth Health Centre

  • DHSS Mental Health Rehabilitation Services

  • Tas CAHRD

Links: Home Truths Online 2009, 2004 Home Truths Evaluation

Mining the Imagination (2000-04)

Breaking down stereotypes of isolated mining community through digital media production.


This collaboration with Roar Film resulted in a creative multimedia CD Rom that depicts Queenstown's social history and contemporary life, landscape, wilderness, industry and culture in a manner that captures the spirit and complexity of this extraordinary place.


Screenings were held in 2001 and in 2003 as part of the Ten days on the Island Festival at the Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Company Managers offices, Queenstown.



  • Roar Film

  • West Coast Heritage Authority

  • West Coast Council

  • West Coast Business Development

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