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International artists descend on Footscray for education creation

Artists from New York City, Montreal, Alice Springs and Melbourne will converge in Footscray next week for a major international collaboration aimed at encouraging young people into further education.

Culture Shack, a Victoria University School of Education sponsored event, is offering eight days of workshops between April 11 and 20 in play-building, physical theatre, animation, digital sound composition, video, slam poetry and the history of hip hop.

Local, national and international artists and scholars will present their vast knowledge and expertise, with an eye to creating pathways for students into arts and education courses.

Young people aged 16 to 25 are encouraged to attend the free workshops at the Footscray Community Arts Centre during the school holidays.

Brett Reynolds, of Young Playwrights Inc in New York City, will run the drama workshops; Sonja Dare, formerly of Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, will run the 'Animating Culture' workshop; Canadian Hip Hop music artist and activist Nantali Indongo will offer Hip Hop No Pop, and local social enterprise Youthworx Media will teach participants simple film-making.

Project Director and VU School of Education lecturer Dr Anne Harris said many young people from refugee and multicultural backgrounds were eager for longer-term or continuing arts and education development opportunities.

"Culture Shack responds to that need by offering free community-based workshops, which assist the participants to work toward Certificate and Diploma credit in Creative Industries,'' Dr Harris said.

"The School of Education is continuing its commitment to provide innovative, sustainable and creative pathways for all students to access vocational and higher education in the areas in which they thrive." 

The workshops will culminate with a special one-day public event called Artful Practices: A Community Conversation on April 21, which will showcase the young peoples' creative work, local arts organisations and pathways for education and artistic partnering with Victoria University.

New York University Professor Philip Taylor will contrast the Culture Shack program with his innovative work in Applied Theatre and critical teaching in the United States. Artful Practices will be held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre from 9am to 5.30pm, April 21.

These events are being run in partnership with the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Kindred Studios, Youthworx Media and VU TAFE Creative Industries.

File photos of international and Australian artists available on request. Brett Reynolds, of Young Playwrights Inc, arrives in Melbourne on Wednesday and will be available for photos thereafter.

For interview: Dr Anne Harris on 0408 803 609


Media contact:

Daniel Clarke, Media Officer,

VU Marketing and Communications Department

Ph: 9919 9491 or 0407 771 072

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