Maylene Slater-Burns. Is a proud Kamilaroi, Wiradjuri, Yuin, Worimi, Ngunnawal, Gugu Djungan, Nywaigi, Gangalidda and Garawa woman. Her home is Kulin country. Neda Rahmani is a local artist, composer, director and storyteller, facilitator, and mentor. Neda is curating the closing event for FUSE Autumn 2022.
Maylene is a proud advocate for First Nations people, children, minority groups, people with special needs (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with family members with special needs), LGBTQI + mob on their journey, travellers, refugee and asylum seekers, mental health awareness, people of colour, fighters of the revolution, land-based and natural medicines, healing lived-traumas, mindfulness, deep-listening (dadirri) and children, women and men’s rights - in particular, their rights to heal as a family.
Friends, colleagues and FUSE extended family: welcome to the return of our festival! We’re thrilled to be back and ready to share a full program of artistic and cultural events with our wonderful community.
Sometimes, it’s hard to talk about FUSE without mentioning the pandemic. The festival was launched on the cusp of Melbourne’s first lockdown, and since then, it has negotiated and ridden the various peaks and troughs of the global crisis. We’ve had to go digital twice, but we haven’t buckled. Instead, we came up with innovative programming to overcome these hurdles, including online festivals, plus commissioned apps and audio tours that made full use of the community’s extended screen time. It was a tough time for artists and audiences alike, but now we’re back, stronger than ever, and continuing to support the creative arts with the full force of our passion and commitment.
So, onto the new program. Our tagline is locally unexpected, and we’re again proud to highlight the fact that the wonderful city of Darebin is rich in artistic talent. Events will be held in Preston, Northcote and Thornbury, as well as the iconic suburb of Reservoir, which provides a compelling example of an artistic hub within the Darebin community. Throughout the festival, the innovative exhibition Made in Rezza will be held in 15 in Rezza shopfronts, showcasing works by local artists. Then there’s Live in Hi REZ, a ten-day program of performances by local musicians under 25, taking place in locations around Reservoir Station. Finally, there’s our closing party, Out of the Park Picnic, which will be held in Reservoir’s Edwardes Lake Park, a symbol of local community for over 100 years.
Other highlights include our Autumn 2022 Opening Party, curated by Queen Acknowledgements and featuring a guest oration from Australian writer and educator Yumi Stynes. Yumi’s oration will commemorate local activist Molly Hadfield as well as International Women’s Day 2022, and precedes an exciting lineup of musicians, DJs and performers later in the night.
Other highlights include our FUSE Fund events, where we commission artists and performers to design and produce their own events. These include I Liked it, But... I Didn’t Know What the F#!k It Was About – Joel Bray’s pub trivia night about contemporary theatre; Anything You Can Do – Pony Cam’s provocative show about grief, ageing, sex and regret; An Uncertain Time – a sensory theatre performance from Dr Sarah Austin & Co, designed for babies and their carers; and We Are Song, We Are Dreaming, We Are Country – a compelling blend of music, story and conversation, delivered by First Nations song people and hosted by Neil Morris. Plus, there’s FUSE@Large, our open-access version of the festival that provides opportunities for local artists and creatives to activate Darebin in unexpected, delightful ways. Are you ready to light the FUSE? We can’t wait to see you live and in person.