Spotlight Shining a light on NT artists

Spotlight is Darwin Festival’s engagement program for Northern Territory artists. NT artists are at the heart of our program and every year are presented alongside events by highly regarded national and international performers.

In 2021, we continued our existing Expressions of Interest process and also launched a new Creative Development Fund for NT artists, made possible through donations from our audience.

Expressions of Interest

The NT Artists Expressions of Interest is an opportunity for Northern Territory artists to submit an application to the Festival to either present a work, tell us about an idea, or let us know what you do.  

 Darwin Festival is a multi-arts festival and we welcome applications from artists who work in any artform. That could be theatre, dance, experimental performance, circus, cabaret, comedy, visual arts, spoken word or installation. 

We are particularly interested in new work or work with a point of difference. We get excited about artistic collaborations, free community projects and unusual performance works. We look for artists who have begun to build a profile within their field and for whom Darwin Festival would be the logical next step. 

NT Artists Expressions of Interest closed on 31 January 2022. 

Applications for NT musicians closed on 7 February 2022.

Creative Development Fund

The Creative Development Fund is an exciting new initiative for Darwin Festival to support the development of new work by Northern Territory artists. Artists can apply for between $5,000 and $20,000 to support the creation of new work, creative development of existing work, or seeding of new ideas.  

We’re looking for ideas and projects that are fresh, innovative and timely. Projects that support the professional development of Northern Territory artists, explore new ways of working and are collaborative.  

Our ambition is to support artists to develop and produce high quality work for eventual presentation in Darwin Festival. This funding is not for the presentation of work, and presentation in Darwin Festival is not a guaranteed outcome of successful applications.    

Funded activities will need to take place between February – October 2022, unless otherwise agreed. 

The Creative Development Fund has been made possible through the generous support of our donors and a $10,000 contribution by Power and Water. 

Applications for the Creative Development Fund closed on 31 January 2022. 

Fund Recipients 2022

Read about our successful Creative Development Fund recipients below.


Artists from NT Dance Company, NAISDA Dance College, Miku Performing Arts and Darwin Symphony Orchestra, will come together to present A Soul's Journey - a reimagining of Gary Lang's 2014 work Mokuy. A Soul's Journey draws together an interpretation of ceremonial song cycles played in the elaborate funeral rites of the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land with classical music and contemporary dance.

Image: Paz Tassone

NT Dance Company


A new experimental contemporary dance work ‘SUB’, created by NT based independent artist Ashleigh Musk in partnership with GUTS Dance and Tasdance. The project brings together an exceptional team of local and interstate artists to Mparntwe (Alice Springs) to develop the work. SUB will explore the effects of climate catastrophe and futuring, focusing on the exploration of the underground as the next frontier, and how we may adapt and grow to inhabit new worlds.

Image: Ivan Trigo Miras

Ashleigh Musk in partnership with GUTS Dance


Rosealee Pearson is a Yolngu woman from Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land, working across many art disciplines as a director, dancer, actor, choreographer, writer, cultural consultant, producer, and artist. Song Spirals will be a work in four parts sharing Yolngu women's knowledge of songlines through Milkarri (Keening, crying for the land). This work is inspired by and based on the 2020 book Song Spirals, written by Rosealee's mother and the Gany'wu Group of Women which won the Prime Ministers Literacy Award.

Rosealee Pearson


Two-time NT Song of the Year winning Songwriter/Producer Resin Moon, aka Dave Crowe, will create an album of new original music featuring 10 different NT vocalists on each track. The new material will culminate in a performance of the new work, with selected guest vocalists.

Dave Crowe and collaborators


Jocelyn Tribe’s artistic practice is a processing of half of her cultural identity that was never directly integrated through family while growing up. Understanding her Indonesian diaspora in contrast to her upbringing in so called “Australia” is a priority. Catur explores these themes through a rhythmic soundscape of Indonesian electronic urban textures played live with projected imagery of familiar Darwin scenes with Balinese dancing in a site specific location.

Image: Helen Orr

Jocelyn Tribe


SONICDRIFT is a unique music collaboration by innovative classical musician Claire Kilgariff and music industry professional Chryss Carr. The SONICDRIFT idea sparked between the two and swiftly manifested into an exciting creative concept. It fuses Claire’s music direction, Chryss’ ability to creatively direct and connect neo-classical, electronic and First Nations musicians and members of the renowned Arafura Music Collective. SONICDRIFT will be an extraordinary multi-dimensional journey and otherworldly, intercultural musical experience.

Claire Kilgariff and Chryss Carr

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