community creativity at its best

Since 1992 Kickstart 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 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.

teaching artists in residence (TARP)

2013 - 2014

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.
This project was delivered in partnership with the following groups and organisations: Social Circus Tasmania, Drum Up Big, Ogilvie High School, Child and Family Services. 





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.
  • Salamanca Arts Centre
  • SPACE Dance
  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
  • Ogilvie High School

links + resources

“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 for Breaking
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.


mkono kwa mkono


claiming culture

2011 - 2012

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

portraits of invisible people

Telling the life stories of people with acquired brain injuries through 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 - 2010

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


Home Truths was an acclaimed 2004 multi art form project in which young people, some from recently arrived refugee backgrounds, explored what "Home" means to them. It culminated in a mixed media installation in the Carnegie Gallery, in Hobart. 
Five years later, we created this interactive web site to present and explore this CACD project, with evaluation, interviews with young people, artists and health workers, providing insights into the impact of this ground-breaking project.
  • Migrant Resource Centre
  • Pulse Youth Health Centre
  • DHSS Mental Health Rehabilitation Services
  • TasCAHRD

links + resources

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.

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. 
  • Southern Cross Care
  • Guilford Young Grove
  • Sandown Village Eldercare
  • Hobart City Council
  • Glenorchy City Council
  • South Hobart Primary School

links + resources