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.
National Youth Arts Summit | 12 – 13 September 2019
Carclew invited young artists, arts workers and creatives from all parts of Australia to MAKE SPACE for critical conversations and exchange at the National Youth Arts Summit, 12 & 13 September 2019.
Since our last convergence (Adelaide 2017), Australia and indeed the world has witnessed significant events and social movements demanding radical action for change. Creative responses, often led by young people, call for governments and institutions to take action on climate change, violence against women and children, the humane treatment of asylum seekers, recognition of our First Australians and the right to live in a safe and secure world despite cultural background, values or beliefs. This was the backdrop for our two day-event.
Carclew’s Creative Consultants – talented young creatives led the 2019 National Youth Arts Summit with a series of activities during day one. Outcomes from day one were then woven into the second day and speakers were tasked to reflect and consider how new ideas could be adapted into practice, leadership, advocacy, innovation and sector structure.
Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellow for 2019, Jacob Boheme our keynote speaker made his voice heard. Challenging us to consider what we could learn from First Nations cultures around the world to build new sustainable futures and environments that are equitable and fair.
Also on offer, were participatory based workshops including:
Jesse Budel a composer, performer and sound artist took us on a collaborative journey of immersive surround sound.
Manal Younus, ActNow Theatre associate artist explored the power of spoken word and slam poetry, sharing techniques to create it with young people from all cultural backgrounds.
Banner image: Facilitator Paul Mayers and keynote speaker Jacob Boehme