Young People and the Arts Australia’s forerunner, the Australian Youth Performing Arts Association (AYPAA), found it impossible to source federal funding and was not able to continue to operate in 1982. Rather than let its unique national and international network and valued journal completely disappear, AYPAA made an unorthodox request. It asked for Carclew to become the National Youth Performing Arts Centre and the ASSITEJ Australia Centre, and run the AYPAA journal Lowdown and national youth performing arts networking for a time as national projects. AYPAA then dissolved as an organisation and ‘lived’ within Carclew for the next few years.
The YPAA story continues (indirectly) at the 1984 Moscow Congress, with Carclew’s Assistant Director Andrew Bleby courting votes for Australia to host an ASSITEJ World Congress in 1987. The Adelaide bid was successful and, in a youth arts coup, the Director of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, Michael FitzGerald, quit his job to become the Director of the 1987 ASSITEJ World Congress in Adelaide. The renewed focus on Australian youth arts brought with it funding and national support that enabled FitzGerald to eventually re-create ASSITEJ Australia as a national organisation separate from Carclew. In the early 1990s, ASSITEJ Australia changed its name to YPAA (at that time, Youth Performing Arts Australia).
Read more in the article 'The Death of AYPAA'.
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