(CelebrityAccess) — Australia’s National Indigenous Music Awards announced plans to go ‘virtual’ for 2020 amid the ongoing COVID19 pandemic
As part of the plan, NIMA announced the appointment of a Ben Graetz, an Iwaidja, Malak Malak and Badu Islander, as creative director for the organization.
An advocate for the First Nations, disability, LGBTIQA+ and arts communities, Graetz previously served as Artistic Director of the Darwin Pride Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Garrmalang Festival and Arafura Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies and was awarded the prestigious Artist of the Year in last year’s LGBTI Australia Awards for his nationally-renowned alter-ego Miss Ellaneous.
Graetz and NIMA will collaborate with the organization’s media partners to develop a slate of live music content for digital distribution that will allow fans to connect with indigenous artists.
“The National Indigenous Music Awards are the biggest night on the calendar for First Nations musicians and it is an honor to be welcomed as its first Creative Director, albeit with a different palette than I was expecting to be painting with,” said Graetz. “Over more than a decade, the awards have been such an important place of recognition for musicians across the country, both to celebrate successes and provide a platform for new artists to be discovered and I am excited to be taking the reigns of an event with such an important legacy, especially at this time.”
“We will create an event where we can celebrate and honor our extraordinary musical community while of course listening to health advice and bringing our community together, this year virtually, to offer positivity and hope in these challenging times,” Graetz added.
Nominations for this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards are now open at www.indigenousmusic.com.au. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music released between July last year and June this year eligible for nominating. For the first time, all artists who have appeared in the weekly National Indigenous Chart will be automatically considered for the awards.