21 Aug 2020

stART Grant makes impact on local artists

After being selected as a recipient of the start Grant Program, recent University of Southern Queensland graduate, Nicole Hauesler was able to put her plans into action during a time when live theatre seemed all too difficult to contemplate.

Nicole’s grant helped pay her own way and cover her time as an Assistant Director, Producer and Videographer on Almost,Maine which was brought to the stage by Almost Outta Here Theatre Company at the Empire Theatre from July 30-31.

Almost, Maine was performed on the main stage as part of the Empire Theatres Homegrown Independents Program, which is aimed at encouraging the development and production of new and exciting works and allowing them space to be seen and presented. It was the first drama to be performed on stage since the initial outbreak of the pandemic caused the temporary closure of the Empire Theatre.

Nicole noted that the stART grant was instrumental in getting her through this time and keeping her working in her field.

"I think it's important to note that the stART grant was my first chance of having some income (other than JobSeeker) after temporarily losing my job with Empire Youth Arts because of the impact COVID-19 restrictions," she said.

"It's also worth nothing that the stART grant was a big part of COVID recovery in the arts industry for me as an independent artist, because it got the work of emerging artists on the main stage with a live audience.

"I really could not have done that and supported myself without the grant at that point."

Almost,Maine was performed twice at the Empire Theatre and was live streamed to a ticketed online audience.