The head teacher of creative arts at North Sydney Girls High School, Karen Profilio, has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Copyright Agency Creativity and Innovation Scholarship for 2014.

Karen will travel to street art “hot spots” Buenos Aires, Berlin, London, New York and New Orleans to investigate the practice of female street artists who are exploring themes of social conscience, gender politics, urban existentialism and consumer culture.

Karen says street art is seen as a catalyst for social transformation and her study will investigate how her students can be empowered by direct contact with female street artists to achieve these aims.

She plans to set up a mentorship program for students and coordinate the creation of artworks simultaneously around the world, culminating in a Sydney event, modelled on the Leake Street Tunnel Takeover in south London. The tunnel ‘takeover’, held on International Women’s Day 2014 (March 8), saw more than 100 female street artists paint murals with a pink theme to raise awareness of breast cancer.

“The main focus is on creating positive change through innovative partnerships and artworks that focus on social awareness,” says Karen.

“The artists and students will communicate in the virtual world but make their artworks in the real world.”

An online exhibition is also planned.

The scholarship of $15,000 is made possible by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.