EMERGE is MAV’s ongoing response to consultations with emerging & refugee communities wanting to increase participation in the arts.  Through the process of community cultural development, the arts build discourse and understanding of issues surrounding refugee migration and resettlement alongside increasing the social and economic contributions from our diverse communities to the wider society.

EMERGE comprises the Emerge Cultural Network & the Emerge Cultural Hubs (outer metropolitan and regional outreach program). EMERGE locates emerging artists & cultural practitioners through community, government & agency connections; assisting in skill development, providing new networks & opportunities & building the capacity of communities to develop & promote traditional & contemporary cultural product.

EMERGE plays a pivitol role in reflecting and articulating community ideals, identity and talent from emerging and refugee artists and communities in Victoria


Emerge in the West in the City of Maribyrnong reveals emerging African arts, culture and small businesses that have been growing rapidly in Melbourne’s West. Founded in 2011, this annual ‘Emerge’ event is an outcome of MAV’s Community Cultural Development program for emerging and refugee artists and communities, triggering the founding of the Australian-African Small Business Association (AASBA) in 2014, to represent the growing number of African enterprises in Melbourne’s West.

Read more about the festival through the years; 2018, 2017, 20162015201420132012, and 2011.


MAV, the City of Whittlesea, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Whittlesea Community Connections and the Refugee Week Committee are working in partnership to develop Emerge in the North, to be held in early July in association with Refugee Week activities. The purpose of the Festival is to bring the community together to celebrate commitment and achievements of refugees in our community. Aspects include a community consultations and a one-day Festival immediately following Refugee Week & Ramadan in the July school holidays, in the City of Whittlesea.

Read more about the festival in 2018 and 2017


Emerge in Yarra hosts a multitude of live music and theatre performances, arts workshops, language, storytelling and cooking classes over Victoria’s Refugee Week, celebrating the arts, culture and positive contributions of artists and communities from refugee and emerging community backgrounds in the City of Yarra. Founded in 2004 as a one day platform for the refugee and emerging artists in Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Visible Music Mentoring Program, it has since expanded to host a series of events- an outcome of MAV’s community cultural development program.

Read more about the festival in 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.


Emerge in Shepparton hosts a multitude of projects, gatherings and events in the Goulburn Valley in partnership with local artists and communities, Yorta Yorta, cultural groups and partners. Emerge in Shepparton celebrates the arts, culture and positive contributions of people from First Nations and refugee and emerging communities living in Victoria’s north east.

Read more about the projects through the years; 2017, 201620142012, and 2009.


MAV will work with established and emerging cultural communities in Central Victoria, the City of Greater Bendigo, the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LMCS) to assist in the delivery of the Greater City of Bendigo’s Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan through the development of a Bendigo Emerge Cultural Hub – building on Greater Bendigo’s reputation as an arts and cultural destination.


The Emerge Cultural Network locates emerging artists and cultural practitioners through community, government and agency connections; assisting in skill development, providing new networks and opportunities and building the capacity of communities to develop and promote traditional and contemporary cultural product. In addition to providing a generative base for communities, the Emerge Cultural Network provides infrastructure that feeds into community-driven cultural initiatives and the range of presentation platforms offered by MAV directly and through partnership arrangements It is a locally based, sustainable network that supports and increases emerging and refugee communities’ cultural participation.

With the continued generous support of Gandel Philanthropy, MAV is working with emerging artists and communities, local governments and cultural organisations in outer metro and regional Victorian local government areas (LGAs), Wyndham, Outer North, Shepparton and Bendigo to collaboratively develop and deliver a cultural leadership program that responds to local needs and builds on local strengths.

Emerge Cultural Network Ambassadors represent the Emerge spirit, promoting and advocating for the network and for the importance of culture and diversity throughout their community.