Performing Arts Development and Touring

The 2021 Producer in Residence offered by Artback NT was a new 12-month internship and mentoring program, designed to cultivate and foster Territory talent by supporting an emerging producer in the performing arts sector. With an acute awareness of the challenges and barriers that lay ahead when breaking into the creative industries, and an awareness of existing local talent, the idea was born.

The aim of the residency, therefore, was to build skills and nurture new talent through mentorship and guidance supported by Artback NT.

With no age limit applied, applicants were asked to pitch an idea with a live performance outcome using one or a mix of the genres for performing arts  – dance, music, or theatre. An important aspect of the application was to be ‘emerging’ within the industry. This stipulation meant the applicant must not have delivered any more than four public outcomes of their work or been engaged to produce an event or show outside of their own initiative.

As well as the in-kind use of Artback NT’s Darwin office resources (including computer and wi-fi) and the ongoing advice and assistance of the Performing Arts Manager, support was also provided in promoting the work of the producer throughout their residency. Other incentives of the mentorship program include:

  • a budget of $5,000 towards the delivery of the project
  • a producer stipend to the value of $5,000

The creative seed was planted among the local Darwin community and applications received were both innovative and varied and were assessed by a panel of experienced producers.

The 2021 Producer in Residence was actor, dancer, and emerging playwright El Ibo.

“As a performer, the Producer in Residence has given me the opportunity to build vital skills to be an independent artist. It was beneficial learning how to organise timelines, and navigate through grants and funding. The support of Liz and Erica has provided me with much clarity and confidence in my planning. Giving realistic outcomes and achievable goals that don’t make me feel too overwhelmed. I always look forward to conversations about my project and feedback. The questions raised and thoughts expressed always spark so much inspiration and motivation whenever I feel stuck“!


Evan Saunders

Performing Arts Manager

PO Box 535, Darwin, NT 0801

08 8941 1444