Storytelling school

Storytelling at the Heart of Indigenous Musician Lucas Proudfoot

Storytelling has always been at the heart of teaching and music for Lucas Proudfoot.

A Bundjalung man, he grew up playing music with friends and in bands. When he had children of his own, he was inspired to start his Circular Rhythm program, which teaches school-aged children about contemporary music and culture.

And now he’s ready to take his passion to new heights.

Mr. Proudfoot is one of seven First Nations artists and organizations who will share nearly $400,000 in funding through the Queensland State Government’s First Nations Commissioning Fund.

Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the First Nations Commissioning Fund supports Indigenous arts and cultural experiences.

“This fund further develops connections for future generations, creates employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and arts workers, and enables Queenslanders to discover and engage in diverse works of art. First Nations artists,” she said.

For Proudfoot, it’s a chance to continue sharing Aboriginal culture with children.

“We had these really inspiring role models in our community that said if you understand your culture and where you’re from, you can build a really strong foundation,” he said.

“And I still have the same feeling as when I first danced with my friends and the boys and girls in our community.

“But that’s what it’s all about, engaging kids and letting them know how diverse our country is.

“We share a lot of things and that’s the diversity and that comes from being the land we’re on, the country, the surroundings and everyone is completely different.”

Proudfoot’s shows, Circular Rhythm and The Proud Foots, are performances rooted in music, culture and above all storytelling.

Telling his story is a big part of how Proudfoot connects with people through his performances.

“Growing up my mum was in a family of 13, across the road there were 17 in the family, then next to them were our cousins, I think they were 15 kids running around,” he said.

“So we’re just surrounded by stories, you know. And then the whole crew would come and it would be music and everyone would have the best time and the big hearth and you would hear a lot of stories.

“But I’ve always used my upbringing as an inspiration for the stories, but you find common ground right away, whether it’s with the kids, the teachers or the parents, it’s always a matter of discussion after the show.”

As for what he will do with the funding, he hopes to take Proudfoot and Friends nationally.

“We have a pretty ambitious plan where we can start working with Queensland-based tech companies and attract key industry creatives and just engage with the arts sector,” he said. declared.

Receiving the funding opens up a whole different set of conversations and it allows us to continue to develop the project and we develop the theater side of things.

“We have a really good plan in place and the people we’ve already involved, it’s exciting.”

Proudfoot hopes this is just the beginning for the arts sector to begin to recover after a grueling few years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Storytellers, whether on screen, on stage, in small venues, are among the most qualified to be able to tell what has happened over the past two years,” he said.

“Through the story and the film, we get to know a certain moment in time. I think that’s how people can bring back hope.

“I think we’re going to have a real hunger to tell those stories and continue to connect with our audience.”

Proudfoot hopes to announce shows in Queensland and the rest of Australia this year.