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TNA ASSITEJ Bulletin – February 2020

Dear ASSITEJ Colleagues,

Welcome to the first Youth Arts and Theatre for Young Audiences sector bulletin for 2020…and my final bulletin on behalf of TNA!

After almost six years in various roles, I finish up as Program Director and ASSITEJ Coordinator next week in order to focus on my creative practice as a writer, performer and teaching artist. It’s been a privilege to learn from and connect with you all – I look forward to continuing engaging with this vital part of the sector with my artist hat on.

Read on for World Congress updates; training and presentation opportunities; and your chance to work with TNA.

All the best for 2020, everyone.

Bethany (with Nicole, Simone, Rani and Jamie)
Theatre Network Australia


[TNA is the National Centre for ASSITEJ.​ We support Sue Giles in her role as Australian Representative and Vice President of ASSITEJ global, and work in collaboration with Sue and the wider sector on key advocacy priorities and activities].

28 Feb – ‘Neighbourhood’ – sector gathering at APAM this Friday
TNA is partnering with APAM and Australia Council for the Arts for the sector gathering, ‘Neighbourhood’, taking place at Meat Market in Melbourne this Friday 28 Feb, 9.30am – 5.00pm. Single tickets are still available. Register here.

28 Feb – Join the TNA team
Applications for the newly designed Manager, Artist and Sector Development role close at the end of this week. This exciting, part-time role is based at our shared office space in Southbank, Melbourne.

ASSITEJ Sector Booklet
The ASSITEJ member booklet is online, with the printed version already having been used as a promotional tool at IPAY (USA), Visioni Festival (Italy) and this week at APAM (Melbourne). It includes making companies listed by state and a link to independent practitioners working in TYA and Youth Arts across Australia.

Presidential Candidacy – ASSITEJ Leadership
TNA supports Sue Giles’ nomination to stand for President of ASSITEJ International. Voting will take place at the General Assembly in Japan in May. Thanks to those who submitted testimonials of support. This is an exciting prospect for the Australian TYA and Youth Arts sector!


20th ASSITEJ World Congress​ – Australian Selections and Delegation
Terrapin Theatre Company’s (TAS) production of You and Me and the Space Between’  has been announced as the official Australian selection for the Performance Program at ASSITEJ Congress in Japan this May. Congratulations also to independent company, Gold Satino (VIC), on being selected for the ambitious, site-specific work, This is Grayson’. Unfortunately, budget limitations and timelines means Gold Satino won’t be presenting their work on this occasion. Sarah Austin’s Only A Year’ has been selected for the Fringe program and other artists and companies will present workshops as part of the Professional Program. The current Australian delegation is made up of 27 independent artists and company representatives from across NSW (6), QLD (2), SA (3), TAS (2), VIC (11) and WA (3). Full list announced soon. 

‘Spotlight on Australia’ – Cultural Showcase at ASSITEJ World Congress
We are in talks with the Australian Embassy in Tokyo to host a ‘Spotlight On Australia’ event during the 2020 Congress program. This cultural showcase is designed to promote the work of all attending Australian artists and companies. More details soon. Please contact us if you are planning to register as a delegate.

Visioni Festival – Australian Presentation and Report
Visioni Festival is taking place next week in Bologna, Italy. The Australian delegates – Sally Chance (SA), Kirsty Grierson (TAS), Emily McKnight (NSW) – and me, Sue Giles (VIC) – will give a joint presentation called ‘Fighting for Room’ – a reflection on Theatre for Early Years practice in Australia. Learnings and reflections will be shared with the wider sector in future bulletins.

18, 19 & 21 May – Save the date for General Assembly
ASSITEJ invites all members to take part in the General Assembly (18, 19, 21 May), during the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress in Tokyo, Japan. Note: 14th – 24th of May is the full period of the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival / MIRAI 2020.

– Sue Giles


Fresh Ink – National mentoring program for emerging playwrights (NSW & WA)
Barking Gecko has partnered with Australian Theatre for Young People to bring Fresh Ink to WA – a national mentoring program pairing emerging playwrights (aged 18 – 26) with a mentor. 2020 applications are open to NSW and WA based writers and close next Mon 2 March. Read more.
27 Mar – Artplay New Ideas Lab Applications (NATIONAL)
Artplay seeks proposals from artists of all disciplines for projects where children and/or families are co-creators, and which respond to the provocation of ‘climate emergency’. New Ideas Lab supports proposals between $10,000 and $20,000. Submissions close 27 Mar. More info.

27 Mar – Flying Fruit Fly Circus Under Construction Residency (NSW/VIC)
This new initiative is designed to develop and support emerging circus artists in regional NSW. Successful applicants receive $4,000 cash and extensive in-kind support. The residency concludes with a work-in-progress premiere during the annual Borderville Circus Festival in Albury-Wodonga. Apply before 27 Mar. Read more.

Mar & Apr – Western Edge Youth Arts: Up Next Masterclass Series, Melbourne (VIC)
WEYA presents a series of workshops for emerging artists, delivered by some of Melbourne’s most innovative and inspiring practitioners. Develop skills in performance, design, and build a sustainable career. Open to anyone from the West aged 16 – 25.  Free, but spaces limited. View program here. 

1 Mar – Carclew’s Project and Development Grants (SA)
These grants are open to early career artists and arts workers (26yrs and under). Projects: Apply for up to $10,000 for projects. | Development: Apply for up to $3,000 from this program. Grants for activity occurring July – Dec 2020 close 1 March 2020. More info.

21 Mar – Platform Arts – Ensemble Auditions, Geelong (VIC)
Platform Arts is calling for young artists aged 26yrs and under to join their Geelong-based performance ensemble led by Jackson Castiglione. First round auditions take place on 21 March. Register here.

26 Feb – MTC Ambassadors Program (VIC)
Grade 11 theatre-lovers are invited to join the year-long MTC Ambassadors program that offers insight into the world of professional theatre. Attend MTC productions, meet with artists and staff, and share experiences with like-minded peers. Nominations close tomorrow, Wed 26 Feb.

Diversity Arts Australia – Apply for Round 2 of Fair Play program (VIC)
Fair Play is an equity and inclusion capacity-building program for organisations that receive multi-year funding through Creative Victoria. Organisations are invited to apply to Round 2 of the Fair Play which runs from May-November 2020.

Sydney Theatre Awards – Panel Advocacy (NSW)
TNA is collating names of NSW-based TYA and Youth Arts practitioners to put forward to the Sydney Theatre Awards committee as prospective panel members. TNA wants to ensure that works are seen, assessed and celebrated. Submit your name and role / experience here. 

27 Mar – MCA Professional Development Program: Working with Young People in the Arts (NSW)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, is offering a 2-day program (27 & 28 Mar) led by Jo Higgins and a team of MCA Young Creatives alumni. Learn more about creative youth development, how to build informal youth-led arts programs and develop strategies for advocacy and evaluation. More info.

Independent Producers Database and Call for Mentors (VIC)
TNA has launched a database for independent performing arts producers. We are also collecting information from independent producers who are interested in being a producer mentor for the Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI)’s Producers Mentorship Program. About the VIPI program.

*The acronym ASSITEJ comes from the original French:
Association Internationale de Theatre pour les Enfants et le Jeunesse

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