Future Proofing Arts + Culture
National Youth Theatre Forum Retreat, Bundanon (NSW)
In January 2015, the youth theatre sector initiated a National Youth Theatre Forum Retreat (funded by the Australia Council for the Arts). It was held to support the sector as it prepared for the abolition of the Youth Program Fund later that year and the need to compete with wider professional performing arts companies.
Youth Arts Summit, Hawkesbury River (NSW)
Subsequently, in 2016, the Australia Council for the Arts hosted a Youth Arts Summit on the Hawkesbury River. The 2016 summit brought people from across all forms of youth arts practice; people making work with children and young people; and/or work for child and youth audiences; and/or identifying as independent arts makers under 30 years of age; in all genres of artistic practice and cultural expression.
2016 saw nationwide funding cuts across the mainstream middle-tier sector of funded arts companies. It is widely recognized that ‘youth arts’ is the breeding ground for the next leaders within the national arts and cultural industries. The youth arts sector was bearing the brunt of funding cuts at State and Federal level. There was nation-wide concern that the youth performing arts sector may go the same way as the youth dance sector and disappear from the cultural conversation.
National Youth Arts Summit (SA)
Carclew convened the 2017 National Youth Arts Summit to ensure that the momentum of the previous years was not lost. The program for the day was built from the discussions and reflections of previous gatherings and a nationwide sector survey about possible thematic directions. The consultations and survey results indicated that the national sector was ready for conversations about the strategies and actions required to claim its vital importance within the national framework of the arts; education; health; and social enterprise. The key questions, fundamental to Carclew’s program planning were:
- How do we articulate the social and health benefits of youth arts engagement?
- What’s ‘our role’ in seeding the creativity and lifelong curiosity necessary to thrive?
- Partnerships as alternative sources of income and holistic collaboration – what works when and why?
- How can Australian youth arts respectfully support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural
processes and artistic philosophies?
- What are young artists pioneering?
- What is happening at the nexus of social enterprise and artistic practice?
Exactly 100 delegates from across Australia attended the 2017 gathering at Carclew.
Kaurna Elder, Uncle Yerloburka Lewis O’Brien, gave Welcome to Country. ‘Uncle Lewis’ spoke about Kaurna education principles; one of them being pertinent to the idea of ‘conference’. It was the importance of thinking twice. The brain has two parts; if the brain thinks twice, let it. One side is the thought. The other side is action.
In her Opening Address: The Voice of the Child, Inaugural SA Commissioner for Children & Young People, Helen Connolly spoke about the importance of sincerely listening to children. She gave a summary of the extensive ‘listening tour’ she has undertaken, the early findings that have surfaced as a result, and the ongoing work she will undertake to ensure SA’s children and young people know she has heard them and will respond accordingly.
Future Proofing: Artistic Director, Australian Theatre for Young People, Fraser Corfield.
Fraser gave a statistical snapshot of the horror funding-cull across the last 10 years and the resulting “evolve or die” shift that has taken place as companies attempt to rise for the ashes. ATYP recruited Pattern Makers, a research group who specialise in statistical arts data, seeking to know: What impact, if any, does youth arts have on young people’s mental health? He presented the findings and encouraged delegates to consider ways to capture the broader social health and mental wellbeing benefits of their work as they continue to advocate the benefits of youth arts engagement.
Trailblazers: Working Group Leader, Arts Front Under 30s 2018 National Summit, Sara Strachan & General Manager, The Young Company, Leigh Boswell.
Leigh picked up on Fraser’s mental health thread and highlighted the alarming Mission Australia statistics of the last 6 years. She said, “when the defunding of our sector happened, so did the social infrastructure for our creative pathways with the nation’s young people.” Leigh went on to question what links our work to mental health and social wellbeing, and asked us to consider our civic responsibility to children and young people and their ongoing social development. Leigh was followed by Sara, who delivered a bold and brave assessment of what it’s like to be a young leader in the contemporary ‘national youth arts scene’ and pushed the sector to dig deeper and work harder at improving youth participation at leadership levels.
Collaborations: Deputy Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts, Lee-Ann Tjunipa Buckskin.
Lee-Ann stated, “collaboration is embedded in indigenous cultural practice – it represents a millennia of trial and error, testing and listening to the bonds of people and landscape”. She highlighted the ATSI journey from ‘self determination’ in the 70’s to the 2017 Heart of the Nation gathering at Uluru, the lessons learnt from that journey and the deep collaborative efforts and spirit still needed for that evolving story. Lee-Ann outlined how indigenous communities have the lived practice and solutions for putting arts and culture at the centre of society. She discussed the frameworks she has used to determine definitions of collaboration and proposed the challenge: to listen to each other and not muscle for power; to see the authentic collaborative methods of the first nations peoples as a platform to offer the absolute national framework: federal government.
First Nation Voices: Artistic Director, Digi Youth Arts, Alethea Beetson
Alethea wrapped the morning provocations by acknowledging the role that arts has on the lands and continues to have. She wove a strong thread of thought about how we can create a long sighted arts and cultural vision for young people and how important it is for us to “take lots of little steps” as we make the futures of our children’s, children better. Alethea acknowledged the role that indigenous people (“past, present and future elders”) are taking towards “decolonising arts practice, reclaiming our ways, and continuing our ways so that our arts will no longer be a Crown pleaser; anthropological spectacle of ‘the other’, or continue to be appropriated by the mainstream, which often thrives on denial or exclusion of indigenous knowledge”. Her provocation was to get us thinking about how this rich reclamation is a model for empowering children and young people in determining their own stories and expression.
Between morning tea and lunch, delegates moved into Breakout Sessions covering one of the four core focus points (above). These sessions gave delegates an opportunity to dig deeper into the themes and contribute their thinking and perspectives.
After lunch, the entire delegation was wrangled (Kate Gould, champion!) into Speed Strategic Visioning! This was the meaty work. Forward planning. National thinking. Strategies, with actions!
By 2022, Australia is acknowledged as an international leader in youth arts; valued by the community, government and the corporate sector.
Objective 1: Value
The community, government, corporate sector, and young people understand, enjoy, and celebrate youth arts
in all its evolving diversity.
Objective 2: Effective & Efficient
Australia’s national Youth Arts sector is regarded as effective and efficient.
Objective 3: First Nation Voice
Australia’s youth arts sector is highly regarded for its First Nations’ representation.
Objective 4: Financial Sustainability
Youth Arts are flourishing and sustainable, with increased government funding and other sources of income.
The 2017 National Youth Arts Summit concluded with a firm commitment to face the challenges, celebrate the collegiate vibe of our sector, and create the future! Delegates were sent off, giddy and chatty, into sunset drinks by the warm fire-braziers, to enjoy a highlight intimate performance by the nationally award winning, internationally recognized, South Australian youth arts supported, sublime and fierce duo, ELECTRIC FIELDS.
Following the gathering, Sue Giles (Polyglot), Fraser Corfield (ATYP) and Helen Hristofski (Barking Gecko), with hosting support from Australian Theatre Network, created an e-newsletter that is committed to continuing the collegiate networking and national action planning resulting from the 2017 National Youth Arts Summit.
Moving forward, Carclew is dedicated to working alongside other state representatives to establish a National Working Group (virtual). Anyone interested in contributing in any way to this working group or sub-committee/s is encouraged to say “I’ll be a rep for my state/territory/lands/people!” and let Hannah Allert at Carclew know your area/level of interest and all of your contact details.
Friday 13 September 2017 – All Delegates
- 8:00am | Coffee & registration
- 9:00am | Welcome & Opening
Jane Doyle, Chair, Carclew
Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, Kaurna elder & Carclew Patron
Tricia Walton, Chief Executive, Carclew
- 9:50am | Let’s Make Space
Facilitated by Paul Mayers, Senior Manager Social Enterprise, Carclew and Carclew Creative ConsultantsAn interactive session which will frame our day together, introducing delegates to each other and to our key themes:THE BIG WHY
DIVERSITY IN AUSTRALIA
FEEDING THE SOUL
VALUE AND IDENTITY
THE GREEN QUESTION
- 10:20am | Keynote address
Jacob Boheme (Narangga/Kaurna), artist and founding Creative Director of Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival What does sustainability in the arts look like? What can it be? How does it work? Are there existing models from First Nations cultures around the world that we can learn from to build new sustainable futures and environments that are equitable and fair?
- 10:40am |Q & A
Facilitated by Paul Mayers & Carclew Creative Consultants
- 11am | Morning tea
During this break, delegates select one of five working groups for Provocations | Deep Dive
- 11:30am | Provocations from the Future
Katherine Quigley, Artistic Director & CEO, Backbone Youth ArtsEdwin Kemp Attrill, Artistic Director, ActNow
Gabriel ‘DyspOra’ Akon, recording artist & founder of Playback 808 Kingdom.How can a future thinking youth arts sector enable agency, ambition and determination of young artists and arts workers? This panel will shine a 10-minute spotlight on our thinkers who will respond to provocations from day one. Five key provocations, three audacious thinkers and conference delegates collectively considering a different future.
- 12:10am | Provocations & Deep Dive
Choose your own adventure and drill down.
Delegates break into small groups to delve deeper into ideas for practical application.
- 12:35am | Provocations & Report Back
Facilitated by Paul Mayers & Carclew Creative Consultants
- 1:00pm | Lunch
- 2:00pm | Postcards from around the Globe
Bethany Simons, Program Director, Theatre Network Australia
Presenting the role of Theatre Network Australia as the national centre of ASSITEJ in Australia and how youth arts is resonating around the world as well as opportunities through the international association.
- 2:30pm | Delegates can choose one of the following options:
OPTION 1: WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES: LISTENING TO YOUR LOCAL SOUNDSCAPE
Jesse Budel, composer and sound artist
Head offsite for a full afternoon of collaborative immersive surround-sound. Embark on a soundscape tour of Jesse Budel’s work and journey to a young emerging artist. Later record sound and speech for a podcast on the significance of our local acoustic environments.
OPTION 2: Breakout Workshops
Delegates choose two of five breakout workshops to progress forward on pathways through practical application
- 2:30pm | Breakout Workshop #1
- 3:15pm | Afternoon tea
- 3:45pm | Breakout Workshop #2 Breakout Workshop Topics:
HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW?
Meg Upton, Lecturer Arts Education, Deakin University
Josh Hoare, Artistic Director, Cirkidz
Accessing current quality research in the youth arts sector. Framing and positioning research effectively so it doesn’t get lost in the void.
BUILDING A NATIONAL POLICY FOR ARTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIA
Katherine Quigley, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Backbone Youth Arts
Tricia Walton, Chief Executive, Carclew
A practical session to explore arguments and actionable steps toward integrating the arts and young people into a national policy framework to create a better future for young people and their cultural expression and participation.
SPOKEN WORD AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Manal Younus, freelance storyteller, writer/actor/producer, ActNow Theatre
Explore the power of spoken word and slam poetry. Creative writing exercises, games and performance techniques to use poetry as a unique form to explore identity, communicate ideas and develop young people’s own voices.
ART OF WELLBEING
Alexandra Frost, Clinical and Performance Psychologist /Director, Attuned Psychology
Wellbeing, resilience, mindfulness, duty of care, self-care. But what about the wellbeing of artists and arts workers? What is our responsibility to create safe spaces for our work and to prevent burnout?
- 4:30pm | Final Summary and Wrap Up
- 5:30-8:00pm | Closing event
Join us for a toast and farewell in our magical gardens, featuring live music from singer-songwriter Nathan May, food trucks, arts activations and a cash bar (your first drink is on us!).
Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien
Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien is a Kaurna Elder and strong role model for the Kaurna Meyunna (Kaurna People). He has been awarded Aboriginal Elder of the Year (1977), ‘Local Hero’ for Australia Day Awards (2003), Fellow of the University of SA (2004), Citizen of Humanity Awarded by the National Committee of Human Rights in 2009 and an Order of Australia Medal in 2014. With a lifelong passion for sharing cultural knowledge through arts and education, Uncle Lewis was generously involved in the development of Carclew’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Custodian of Kaurna culture, leader of reconciliation and generous mentor of staff and artists as Carclew Patron.
Highly respected journalist Jane Doyle has communicated stories in print, on screen and radio. Her award-winning media career began when she left her schoolteacher role for a newspaper cadetship in far north Queensland. Across Australia Jane reported on rural ABC radio and on her return to Adelaide, resumed print journalism, as TV Week’s Adelaide Bureau Chief as well as broadcasting with ABC Radio. Her appointment as the weekday reader for ABC ignited her love for television, and she has now spent 20 years working for South Australia’s number one news and current affairs television station – Seven News. A sought after host, MC, even sometimes singer, Jane has a passion for culture, community, education and arts making her a wonderful ambassador of youth arts in her role as Chair of Carclew.
Paul’s extensive career has seen him facilitate work internationally with people of all ages. He has led programs that involve young people in decision making at senior levels, mentored cohorts of young facilitators into successful careers within creative industries and built financially self-sustaining social enterprise models, working successfully with public, private and corporate organisations. He is currently Senior Manager, Social Enterprise at Carclew Youth Arts in South Australia and his own company, Standing Start, delivers creative programs that address social issues.
The Creative Consultants
The Creative Consultants are a team of talented young people (aged 18-29) who deliver workshops in communities and with businesses. They come from diverse backgrounds and have a range of creative skills. They meet regularly to collaborate, learn from industry professionals and one another, and get support establishing themselves as successful creative professionals. Creative Consultants receive wrap-around professional development, including practical skills-based learning, 1-2-1 career coaching and paid employment as creative workshop facilitators, and no cost to them.
The Honorary Stephen Marshall
Steven Marshall is South Australia’s 46th Premier. Elected to the South Australian Parliament as the Member for Norwood in 2010, his electorate has since been renamed Dunstan. In 2013, Mr Marshall became the Leader of the Liberal Party and the State Opposition and led the Party to victory in 2018. Mr Marshall is responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Defence and Space Industries, the Arts, Veterans’ Affairs and Multicultural Affairs. Prior to entering public life, Mr Marshall worked in the manufacturing industry, running his family’s furniture manufacturing business. Born and educated in Adelaide, South Australia, he graduated with a Business, Marketing degree and received an MBA from Durham University. Mr Marshall is a patron and ambassador of numerous sporting and community organisations.
Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and based artist of Aboriginal heritage, from the Narangga (Yorke Peninsula) and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) nations of South Australia. The founding Creative Director of Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival 2017, he has a 20-year history working in cultural maintenance, research and revival of traditional dance with Elders and youth from urban to remote Indigenous communities across Australia.
Jacob uses his diploma in dance, Masters in puppetry and Masters in Writing for Performance to create multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. An original member of Assitej International’s ‘Next Generation of Youth Theatre Leaders’, recipient of the Asialink Residency, working with Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust in India and Alumni of the 2014 British Council’s Accelerate Indigenous Leaders Program, this keynote is not to be missed.
Katherine Quigley is the Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Backbone Youth Arts, the Chair of Vulcana Women’s Circus, active member of the Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture and the national youth arts steering committee. A scholarship recipient and graduate of NIDA’s inaugural cohort, Masters of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership, Katherine specialises in producing collaborative, experimental multi-arts and cultural experiences.
Her career spans 15 years producing multi-arts festivals, events, exhibitions, theatre and circus working for: Maerz Muzik Berlin, Queensland Music Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, State Library of Queensland, Artworkers Alliance, The Danger Ensemble, Company 2, Flipside Circus, Youth Arts Queensland, Straight Out of Brisbane, Contact Inc, Black Drum Productions, Vibewire Hub, Backbone’s 2high Festival, Lucks, Lightbox Studio and Artslink. She has produced works for Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane Festival, La Boite Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe, Metro Arts, Theater Basel and Hebbel Theatre (Berlin) and has worked with artists in Australia, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Her final subject at NIDA was an International Placement at the Battersea Arts Centre, where she observed and researched the company’s resilience model with reflection towards their programming for children and young people.
Edwin Kemp Attrill
Edwin Kemp Attrill is a South Australian theatre maker, founder and Artistic Director of ActNow Theatre and the former Artistic Director of the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Edwin’s work focuses on interactive theatre and participatory storytelling exploring social justice themes. As a community arts practitioner, Edwin has worked with people with disabilities, prisoners, LGBTIQ communities, young people, refugees and migrants.
Alongside a Diploma in Theatre Arts and Graduate Certificate in Art and Community Engagement, he is an alumni of the Salzburg Global Forum’s global ‘Young Cultural Entrepreneurs’ program. Edwin was the recipient of a Channel 9 Young Achievers Award for Career Leadership, Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award at the South Australian Ruby Awards and 2018 Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for outstanding leadership in Community Art and Cultural Development.
Bethany Simons is a theatre maker and performer based in Melbourne. Born and raised in Dubbo, NSW, her original works have appeared on the 2012 and 2015 VCE Drama Playlists and toured extensively across Australia. Bethany has received four Green Room nominations and was awarded the 2012 RAVE Touring Award for outstanding contribution to regional arts and culture.
Alongside her creative practice, Bethany is a teaching artist, producer and industry facilitator. She has held various positions with Theatre Network Australia since 2014 and is currently the Program Director – a role that sees her working alongside Sue Giles as the National Centre contact for ASSITEJ Australia.
Jesse Budel is a composer-performer, sound artist, curator and arts entrepreneur. His works are for diverse media and spaces, ranging from acoustic concert instrumentation through to installation works, and have been performed by the Australian String Quartet (AUS), Zephyr Quartet (AUS), Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra (SA) and Corvus Ensemble (Alaska, USA). He has been an artist-in-residence at Adelaide City Library (SA) and Arts Letters and Numbers (Upstate NY, USA).
Recently completing a PhD in Music Composition at Elder Conservatorium of Music, supported by a Research Training Program scholarship and receiving a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence, his research focuses on adapting the innovative field of soundscape ecology to compositional process, producing creative works responding South Australian ecosystems and soundscapes. Previously, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with First Class Honours, studying with Graeme Koehne, David Harris and Charles Bodman Rae, also receiving numerous Director’s Awards for ‘outstanding achievement as a composer and a high level of commitment in the promotion and performance of new music’.
After being awarded Young Citizen of the Year and SA Regional Awards Murraylands-Riverlands Youth Award, Jesse undertook a professional development tour of the US and Canada supported by a number of grants, in his research area of ecological music and sound art. Jesse continues contributing to the arts and cultural, regional and youth sectors, most recently, developing a number variety of community arts installation sites, including the Murray Bridge Piano Sanctuary and the Featherstone Sound Space.
Josh Hoare draws on multiple skill sets as one of Australia’s new generation of circus artists, creating performance work through a variety of physical languages. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Sydney University) as well as graduating from the National Institute of Circus (NICA) and has performed both nationally and internationally.
Meg Upton is an educator, teaching artist, lecturer and researcher in drama education. She has taught in primary and secondary schools and currently works at Deakin University. A previous education manager at Malthouse Theatre and MTC, a one-time judge of Class Clowns, and an advocate for the development of a compulsory unit for teachers called Humour in the Classroom 101, Meg has learned from the many 15-year-olds she has encountered that comedy can be intuitive, is often impulsive, but can also be taught.
Tricia Walton has 25 years’ experience in arts programming, administration, management and governance mainly in small-to-medium youth arts, adult education and publishing organisations. She has experience in strategic leadership, organisational change and policy development as Chief Executive of Carclew, which delivers a multi art program for South Australian children and young people and development for early career artists. She has managed regional arts program delivery for Country Arts SA, run Kurruru – an Aboriginal youth performing arts organisation, and provided training and facilitation for Community Arts Network SA and edited Artwork Magazine.
Tricia chairs A>R>T, a collective of artists and educators committed to arts rich learning environments in SA primary schools. Tricia has a BA Degree (Literary Studies), a Grad Dip (Education and Training of Adults), is a fellow of the South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She is a non-executive director of the Australian Dance Theatre.
Manal Younus is an Australian based freelance storyteller from Eritrea who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence. Using her writing and performance, Manal explores different aspects of life from perseverance, identity, travel and truth. She speaks on a vast number of issues including youth leadership, gender and female empowerment, faith, blackness, culture, language, migration, displacement, racism and interculturalism. Manal also facilitates writing, performance, public speaking, youth empowerment and intercultural awareness workshops in schools, community groups and professional environments to encourage others to develop their own voices.
An Australian Poetry Slam National Finalist, Manal has gone on to perform around the country including at The Sydney Opera House. Her first book of poetry, “Reap” launched with a national tour and feature performances, later representing Australia at the Georgetown Literary Festival in Malaysia. Manal travels frequently to perform and facilitate workshops for schools, perform and speak at public events and conferences with a range of different audiences in each state and territory. Featured on ABC’s QandA, TEDx, National Multicultural Women’s Conference, Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Open State Festival, Halogen Foundation’s Young Leaders Convention, The Council for International Schools Conference and James Cook University’s Young Language Ambassadors Conference among others.
Manal was a divisor and original performer in ActNow Theatre’s award winning program Responding to Racism, and recently as producer of a series of poetry videos and writer/performer in a new school project about Islamaphobia.
Alexandra Frost is a Clinical and Performance Psychologist /Director of Attuned Psychology. 20 years working with clients whose artistic endeavors have been thwarted or enhanced by anxiety, emotional and/or cognitive states, she knows that to take to the stage, any stage, consistently, requires more than just a “rage to master” their chosen craft. Mental toughness, focus, courage and passion being some of the essential characteristics for optimal performance and a sustainable career.
Having just had her early research findings in musical performance anxiety affirmed by the latest papers delivered at the International Symposium of Performance Science at the Melbourne Conservatorium in July 2019, Alexandra is continuing to focus her practice on nurturing a broad range of artists, from young emerging performers, through to elite practitioners. In the context of alarming recent research focused on the wellbeing and mental health of artists, those who work with and support them, her focus has broadened to support the development of constructive strategies to enhance wellbeing and a life driven by personal values. Alexandra achieves this through developing resilience, regular self-care, psychological flexibility and addressing other psychosocial and cultural factors amid the inner challenges confronting every person who steps into the limelight.
Alexandra believes there are few things more important to the human spirit than to be able to apply mindfulness to the experience of living and interacting with others, and when such insights are expressed through creative, artistic endeavours, our society is enriched.
Red Sand Beat Band
Hailing from Warburton community in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia, Red Sand Beat Band combine easy-going, desert reggae jams with evocative lyrics about their homelands, travel and the experience of living in one of the most remote places in Australia.
The band is lead by 23 year old Granville Westlake who started off playing drums and bass guitar at Warburton School. Their continued dedication has seen the band quickly rise, as they cleaned up at Battle of the Bands Kalgoorlie, taking first place, and playing alongside legendary guitarist Buddy Knox. They again took out first prize at Ng Lands Festival in 2018.
Red Sand Beat Band regularly organise community concerts, play at football matches, and practice and record at Wilurarra Creative’s studio in Warburton Community.
Gabriel ‘DyspOra’ Akon
Award-winning Hip-Hop recording Artist, Sonic Activist and Poet, Gabriel ‘DyspOra’ Akon is the founder of the Playback 808 Kingdom. The nomadic troubadour was born in South Sudan and raised across various locations in East Africa until his family migrated to the South Australian city of Adelaide.
Spending his formative years in a refugee camp in Kenya, DyspOra saw music as a key tool in breaking down cultural, lingual and racial barriers, leading him to writing poetry at 12 & graduating to writing rhymes in high school. He began releasing weekly freestyle videos during sporadic sessions, which inspired Playback 808 and commenced recruiting team members and future label mates. Known for his sonic activism and dynamic lyrical abilities, DyspOra’s musical roots can be traced to various cultural soundscapes.
Featured in publications such as Swampland, VICE, Complex and global advertising agency 72 and Sunny’s book on Modern Australia, DyspOra’s story has been told on ABC news, SBS & Rolling Stone magazine. Now he shares stories as a current ambassador for the Timpir Foundation that provides education to more than 1400 Children in South Sudan.
The 25-year-old has performed at major events including Clipsal 500, Listen Out Festival, Root Down Festival, Miss Africa, Groovin The Moo, Scouted festival & Sanaa festival. These performances have allowed him to share the stage with Skepta, Skrillex, Paul Kelly, Hilltop Hoods, Amine, HorrorShow, Seth Sentry, Thundamentals, Funkoars, Kerser, Masego and Man Made Mountain. Recently named best male artist at the South Australian music awards after a captivating performance of his single Open Road with Elsy Wameyo, DyspOra is preparing the release of his long awaited ‘AUSTRALIEN’ project in 2019.
Multi-talented singer-songwriter Nathan May descends from the Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin clans.
Nathan writes in memory of his friends and family and as a reminder that there’s always hope. He sings with a wide open smile from deep within his soul and has an innate ability to craft songs and express feelings of wide appeal to a broad audience that are way beyond his 25 young years. Nathan has recently nominated and finalist South Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist of the Year Award. Nathan also has recently won The Governors Aboriginal Young Achiever Award for 2019.
Formerly a student at the Centre for Aboriginal Music Studies (CASM) Nathan is now studying a Bachelor of Popular Music at the University of Adelaide Elder Music Conservatorium.