Briggs Announces Barpirdhila Grant Program to Help First Nations Artists Affected by COVID-19
Briggs announced the launch of Barpirdhila (which translates to Morning Star in the Yorta Yorta language), a new grant initiative aimed at helping First Nations artists who have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be made available to First Nations artists who are actively working on an upcoming music project. It is expected that applicants have already made progress on the project and that it will be set for completion by the end of the year. Grant recipients will see the funds contribute to any third-party costs that may arise in the production of their project.
It’s unclear exactly how many grants are on offer, but a press release says half of the total amount will be distributed to female artists, who are traditionally underrepresented in such initiatives. Applications for the Barpirdhila program are open now and will close at 12:00 p.m. AEST on Monday, August 1 – find the registration form here.
The winners will be chosen by a jury composed of five members. In addition to Briggs himself, the panel includes acclaimed producer, editor and curator Emily Nicol, award-winning journalist (and NME contributor) Sosefina Fuamoli, and The Deans Of Soul frontman Linc Yow Yeh. Damian Trotte, Managing Director of Sony Music Publishing, will complete the panel.
Funding for the initiative will come in part from Trotte’s company, alongside VicHealth and the Australian Communities Foundation. It is run by Briggs through his non-profit organization, the Adam Briggs Foundation, whose primary purpose is to ‘nurtur[ing] development opportunities in the creative industries for First Nations peoples”.
Recipients of Barpirdhila grants will be publicly announced on Thursday, September 1.
“This is for artists who need that little bit of a boost to get their project off the ground,” Briggs said in a press release, “or that extra help getting that project off the ground. A little helping hand can make the difference between whether the world receives a new voice and a new point of view or not.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed in April that Briggs were back in the studio with tryouts, with the duo working on new music as AB Originals. March saw them perform for the first time since 2020 – taking the stage at this year’s WOMADelaide festival, with their set joined by Courtney Barnett, Mo’Ju, Thelma Plum, Birdz and Fred Leone.
AB Original’s last studio album was their 2016 debut album, “Reclaim Australia”. The release, which featured collaborations with Gurrumul Yunupingu, Dan Sultan, Thelma Plum and many more, won the Australian Music Award that year. The duo released a popular cover of Paul Kelly’s ‘Dumb Things’ (featuring Kelly himself) as part of triple j Like a release series in 2017 and released the standalone single “Blaccout” in 2018.
Since then, the two members have continued their solo endeavors. Briggs released his latest EP, “Always Was,” in 2020, and last year shared the Troy Cassar-Daley collab “Shadows.”
Talk to NME in 2020, Briggs indicated he was interested in the idea of another AB Original project with tryouts. “We always think about that – because he’s your buddy!” Him and I have been friends forever,” the rapper said. “So it would make perfect sense to do that. We want to do it, definitely – I don’t know when.