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Two brand-new artist opportunities at Fringe Common Rooms

Guess who’s back? Our venue Fringe Common Rooms is getting ready to reopen – and we’re doing everything we can to help get artists back on their feet too.

Alongside our regular Expression of Interest process, we’ve just announced two brand-new initiatives to help artists make their shows and gigs financially viable while taking COVID-19 restrictions into account. Common Rooms Cash provides up to $1000 cash and free venue hire and tech to selected events between August and October. Spare Rooms is focused on providing space for development – successful applicants will get free access to the Annexe at Common Rooms for up to three weeks to rehearse and develop a work.

One of the people working hard behind the scenes to get the venue programmed and ready to open is Ali Coad, our brand-new Common Rooms Program Manager. Ali hasn’t had your average intro to the Melbourne Fringe team to say the least. Her first day “in the office” was via Zoom and she’s been working from home along with the rest of the team ever since (with the odd visit to Fringe Common Rooms to check on the expired chippies).

Ali brings a wealth of experience working in Melbourne’s independent arts scene. From festival worker to independent producer and venue programmer to self-described ticketing nerd, she’s done it all. And she’s no stranger to Melbourne Fringe! In 2017-18 Ali ran the pop-up Festival venue Errol’s & Co in North Melbourne and in 2019 she ran an excellent program of queer and female-driven events with Camp Conscious Collective.

Ali can’t wait to get art back up on the Common Rooms stage. “Being part of live events in all capacities is a wonderful and unique experience that I am missing down to my bones,” she says.

“I’m so pleased we can re-open with initiatives that both foster art creation and prioritise the health of artists and our community by reducing financial and administrative barriers.”

Applications for Common Rooms Cash and Spare Rooms are open now and will close on Monday 29 June – you can find more information and expression of interest forms via the artist opportunities page.

Image: Women of Soul, Common Rooms 2019. Photo by J Forsyth.