Cultural Performing Arts Network (CPAN)
The Cultural Performing Arts Network was initiated in 2009, through a unique partnership with Fairfield City Council (FCC), Western Sydney Dance Action (WSDA in 2011 became FORM Dance Projects) and Community First Step (CFS) to address a need from western Sydney cultural performers to receive professional development and networking opportunities. Since then, the Cultural Performing Arts Network has developed into a network of Western and greater Sydney based performers that are from culturally diverse communities or work in culturally specific art forms.
CPAN now represents over 850 cultural performers from Western and greater Sydney, many with folkloric aspects to their practice, from over 47 cultural backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori, Indian, South Sudanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Armenian, Afghani, Lebanese and Rwandan.
Information sharing forms an important part of CPAN’s work and the network aims to promote culturally diverse arts and its legitimate place within broader contemporary Australian arts practice.
In September 2009, Fairfield City Council (FCC) received a high number of dance-based applications to its annual community cultural development grants program. Many performance groups were not able to be funded, and many performance groups were experiencing sustainability issues. As a response Council facilitated a forum in partnership with WSDA to research needs and issues of local groups. An open microphone session was held where performers could raise any concerns or comments. The development of a network was raised at this forum.
FCC initiated connections with WSDA and CFS to further incubate the possibility of a network. In December 2009 FCC, WSDA and CFS formed a partnership to grow and deliver a Network that included consultation from performance practitioners and developed Terms of Reference .
This partnership between FCC, WSDA and CFS came out of a need by community groups to gain greater access to mainstream activities in the arts. In 2010 the University of Western Sydney offered support through providing a part-time intern dedicated to CPAN administrative and marketing duties.
In 2011 FORM Dance Projects (previously WSDA) and FCC facilitated CALD CPAN officers to act as Co-ordinators facilitating various aspects of the network including administration, marketing and annual events, in partnership with the University of Western Sydney and, later, City of Parramatta. These CPAN Co-Ordinators included Anna Krjatian (2010-11), Shawin Maharaj (2012), Annalouise Paul (July 2012- Aug 2013), Laura Luna (2013-2015), and Vanessa Varghese (2016).
In 2015 Mira Martic moved from Fairfield Council and the council could no longer contribute to CPAN activities in partnership with FORM. FORM became CPAN’s caretaker continuing to facilitate the administration and marketing for the network, and as a way to continue providing access to opportunities for its members. Over the past three years, CPAN has informed FORM’s programming under the umbrella of F/T Program Manager and P/T Administration and Marketing coordinators, resulting in such programs as PRELUDE in Sydney Festival 2020 and the new CPAN FORMidables podcasts.
“It was an exciting time to be working at Fairfield Council with WSDA/FORM Dance Projects and CFS to develop the Network. Our government, community, and arts partnership highlighted the multipronged approach needed to develop a specialised network and support service for performers whose art form included diverse cultural narratives, and to emphasise the value and expertise these arts practitioners are bringing to the broader Australian performance scene.”
CPAN events – (see Events page on this website)
2010 100 Minute Makeover
2012 Tune In-Tune Up Marketing and promotion Workshop
2013 Whatever it Takes! Audition Skills Workshop
2014 Show It Off Performance Marketing workshop
2014 CPAN Settlement Services International workshop
2015 Show It Off Performance Marketing workshop
2016 SBS TV and Sydney Festival casting facilitation
2017 CPAN website platform
2018 Full Circle Dance Lab with Lucky Lartey
2018 2 “Dance diaries” Q&As as part of Parramasala
2019 “ The Survival kit of the cultural dancer” Q&A as part of Parramasala
2020 PRELUDE as part of Sydney Festival 2020
2020 FORMidables- speaking from the heart of Western Sydney podcast series