Mackay youth studying the arts eligible for $5000 in bursaries

Published: 07 Oct 2022

Pursuing your artistic passion as a career takes determination and it can also be a considerable financial drain.

Not to mention the fact that studying the arts usually involves studying away from home.

To help encourage our region’s future creatives to overcome these hurdles and follow their dreams, council is offering three exciting bursaries for visual and performing arts students.

In total, $5000 is up for grabs.

Two bursaries are available for visual and creative arts students – the $1000 Rick Wood Bursary and the $3000 Artspace Mackay Foundation Bursary.

The MECC’s $1000 Jack Sturgeon Bursary is for performing arts students who have been accepted into tertiary studies in any aspect of the performing arts.

Mayor Greg Williamson said studying arts degrees far from home was a huge step that took courage.

“You have to take your hat off to a young person who has the drive and courage to back themselves and their creative talents by embarking on a tertiary degree,” Mayor Williamson said.

“These students deserve a hand-up, and with these three bursaries offered by the MECC and Artspace Mackay, council is proud to be able to offer some support to offset rising costs,” he said.

“Our region also takes great pride in seeing Mackay people succeed and do great things on the national and international stage.”

Artspace Mackay’s $1000 Rick Wood Bursary honours the memory of the late Rick Wood, a celebrated Mackay potter, and is for school graduates applying to study visual or creative arts.

The MECC’s $1000 bursary, which is named in honour of the co-founder of the Mackay Musical Comedy Players and life-long supporter of the arts, Jack Sturgeon, is also for school graduates applying to study performing arts.

Acting manager MECC and Events Jemma Carey said the Jack Sturgeon Bursary for performing arts had been going for 21 years.

“One of the great things about this bursary is it covers all aspects of entertainment – it’s not just for those wanting to be on stage under lights, but also for those backstage directing and coordinating,” Ms Carey said.

“Whether you’re a performing artist in music, theatre, dance, comedy, cabaret or you have a passion for the technical aspects of theatre, this bursary is open to you,” she said.

Lastly, the Artspace Mackay Foundation Bursary is a $3000 bursary for tertiary students currently studying visual or creative arts.

Artspace director Tracey Heathwood said this bursary was geared towards visual arts students looking to take their tertiary study to the next level.

She said a previous bursary recipient, Tristan Kane, was a fashion designer who used his bursary funds in a novel way.

“He spent a month touring India, learning about woven textiles and working with local artisans,” Ms Heathwood said.

“He used his experiences there to blend centuries-old traditions with contemporary ideas to create some really unique designs.”

Both bursaries are now open and close Friday, January 6, 2022.

For terms and conditions and to apply for the Rick Wood or Artspace Mackay Foundation Bursaries, head to the Artspace Mackay website

For terms and conditions and to apply for the Jack Sturgeon Bursary, head to the MECC website