Supported by Create NSW Small Projects Grants, Akimbo + Co staged Tongue Tied, a bold new Australian play by Sydney playwright Clare Hennessy.
Image: Mike C Howlett in Tongue Tied. Photo by Clare Hawley. Courtesy of Akimbo + Co.
Equal parts hilarious and arresting, Tongue Tied explores the lengths a journalist will go to when justice, ethics and gender politics come under-fire in a post #MeToo Sydney.
Akimbo + Co received $4,900 from the NSW Government’s 2021/22 Small Projects Grants (Round 2) to fund material costs, promotional material, videography, and partial venue hire.
Available year-round, Create NSW’s Small Project Grants (Quick Response) program provides grants from $500 up to $5000 to support professional development opportunities for NSW-based arts and cultural workers and companies.
“It provided huge financial relief and meant that we had more capacity to support the team. The end product was better because the work came first, and all our energy and time was focused on that rather than money.”Jessica Pantano, Producer, Akimbo + Co.
“Whilst we have been putting on shows for a few years, we are a new independent theatre company, and this was our first time applying for a small grant,” producer Jessica Pantano said.
“Post Covid, our industry took a big financial hit and independent theatre is always a roll of the dice if we will make our money back on box office. We applied with the hopes of relieving some of that financial pressure on ourselves and the team.
Ms Pantano said the grant accounted for about 65 per cent of the show’s budget and without it would have affected the quality of the production.
“The production design, set and costumes would have really suffered without the help of the grant, as the production really depended on the design to fulfil the story and director’s vision."
“Our focus is always about the artistry and the work, and the grant gave us the freedom to focus on that. Luckily, the show did really well in the box office and by spending less out of our pockets, we were able to provide a better profit share to our team for all their hard work. We received good reviews, and the team all had a great time making it.”
Pantano’s top tips when applying for funding
- Have your budget and your ‘why’ figured out and ready to go. Your vision for the show should be crystal clear.
- Provide lots of extra material – know your worth and don’t be shy about telling Create NSW about all the great things you have done.
- JUST GO FOR IT! It’s a bit daunting at first, however, you and/or your team deserve financial security so you can focus on what you love doing, making art.
- Remember, you’re providing a service to the people of NSW, they deserve to see your work too. Those few hours spent on the grant will hopefully pay off!