After a month of reading through more than 90 applications each, Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) international ambassadors Rose Byrne and Rebel Wilson are excited to announce the winners of their respective scholarships.
After narrowing down a strong field of applicants to a shortlist of six, the ‘Rebel Wilson Theatremaker Scholarship' - awarded to an emerging artist interested in generating their own content - has been accepted by Yve Blake, a young artist who began learning her craft at ATYP.
Rebel is very happy with the choice. "I am so excited that the first recipient of the Rebel Wilson Scholarship will be Yve Blake. She's such an exciting young artist and like me, has trained at ATYP and has since used those skills to then develop, write, produce and perform her original work out in the world. She's gifted comedically and musically, with a keen interest towards involving new technologies into her performances. Yve has a great plan on how to maximize the opportunities that this scholarship presents and I can't wait to connect with her and help her in any way I can. Nicole Kidman gave me a similar opportunity when I was 24 where I got to travel to and learn in America and I really feel like this scholarship is my way of giving back for that wonderful experience that I could never have afforded myself when I was a young artist. Australia has so many talented, creative young people and these people need to be encouraged and supported. "
Yve Blake was overwhelmed by the decision. “I can't overstate how much this scholarship completely changes the game for me. I pitched my most ambitious fantasy dream project and I can't believe that I now have every resource I could want to make it happen. It feels pretty euphoric. ATYP was my favourite place as a kid, being given the chance to go back kind of feels like I get to live at Disneyland for a year.”
Rose Byrne also had a huge number of applicants to consider for the ‘Rose Byrne Scholarship for Emerging Female Leader in the Arts’. After reducing her list down to six, Rose agonised over the final decision in a very close field before identifying Belinda Locke from Victoria as her winner.
“I’m delighted to announce that Belinda is the inaugural winner of the scholarship. It was an incredibly hard, almost impossible decision to make with such an impressive shortlist of applicants, all with different strengths and ambitions. Belinda has a great attitude and presents a broad arts base from which to take full advantage of the scholarship. I know she will benefit from her year with ATYP and I can’t wait to see what work she develops. Overall, it was wonderful to see more than 80 young women apply for this scholarship. I’m encouraged by the creativity, tenacity and intelligence on display through the applications. It seems there is an abundance of young female artists working seriously on their craft.”
Belinda is delighted with the award “I am deeply honoured and grateful to be selected as the first recipient of the Rose Byrne Scholarship, and for the phenomenal opportunities that it opens up for my career as a female artist and emerging arts leader. I believe in an arts community where everyone’s voice can be heard, where arts organisations engage with artists and audiences that represent the full diversity of the communities we live in.”
The winners will now commence a year working with ATYP to realise their goals. Both artists will be in contact with the ambassadors throughout the year to update them on their progress. The 12 month scholarship will culminate with both recipients travelling to Los Angeles to work on a project with the Australian Theatre Company and to be profiled at the G’Day USA Gala in January 2017.