New fund supports artists of colour in Australia

A new fund has been set up to help support Bla(c)k, Indigenous and POC theatre performers in Australia. The Artists of Colour Initiative (AOC) will award six scholarships in total.

AOC was set up as a response to this year’s Rob Guest Endowment, whose 30 semi finalists for 2020 were all white.

Commented AOC founder Tarik Frimpong: “The AOC Initiative is a celebration of People of Colour – a community I am a part of – with the aim to come together, have important conversations and fight for change in the Australian theatre industry.

“I wanted to create an opportunity where I could support and celebrate artists who identify as Bla(c)k, Indigenous or POC by providing them with greater visibility and a stepping stone to a more racially inclusive theatre industry.”

AOC is raising money for the scholarships through a GoFundMe campaign. The 2020 AOC Initiative Winner will receive 50% of all donations; a runner up will receive 50%; and four other finalists will each receive 7.5%.

The award is open to theatre performers who:

  • Identify as Bla(c)k, Indigenous, or People Of Colour
  • Are pursuing a career in theatre performance
  • Are aged between 18-30 at the time of submission
  • Are an Australian citizen or resident
  • Do not have previously secured a leading or supporting role in a main stage musical theatre production
  • Are not engaged in or scheduled for performance-related work in a leading or supporting role at the time of submission


At the time of writing the campaign has raised AUD12,325 (€7,600), beating its original target of AUD10,000. The deadline for applications is 28 September.

To find out more and donate to the fund head to AOC’s GoFundMe page.