Young People To Benefit In New Major Arts Education Partnership

Chair of Windmill Theatre Co, Bruce Speirs last night announced a new, major partnership with the Lang Foundation in support of the company’s newly expanded Arts Education Program.

The theatre company will receive $120,000 over three years to grow its acclaimed Arts Education and Interaction Program for Schools, which has benefited some 50,000 students and teachers in South Australia since its establishment in 2002.

Mr Speirs remarked, ‘The Lang Foundation has been a key supporter of our company since 2012. In this time, it has helped enable over 5,000 school students from across Adelaide and regional South Australia to experience our work free of charge via our Community Access and Education Programs.’

He added, ‘We are delighted that they have committed to the long term support of this vital company initiative, one which will provide increased access and specially-crafted educational experiences to thousands of South Australian school children and their teachers over the next three years.’

Some of the new educational experiences now on offer include the opportunity for students to work directly with professional artists in the classroom, invitations for schools to attend immersive creative development rehearsals at Windmill Studios, and newly created interactive packages linked to the Australian Curriculum that will provide access to the world of theatre making for regional and remote students. Teachers will also benefit from a page-to-stage professional learning program aimed at building their skills and knowledge in the delivery of best practice creative learning for students.

Artistic Director, Rosemary Myers, said, ‘It is widely documented that the arts are critical to a child’s life, nurturing general literacy, the development of empathy and community connection.

We are also acutely aware that there is disparity in access to the arts for young people. Some children have a high level of exposure and many others may not have even experienced a live theatre show by the time they finish primary school. It is fantastic that the Lang Foundation is joining us to help redress this imbalance in our community.’

Since Windmill’s inception in 2002, it has implemented and evolved its award-winning Arts Education and Interaction Program based on a strong commitment of linking professional theatre making with student learning. This comprehensive program, which has become a go-to resource for similar major national initiatives, provides interaction with Windmill’s works, using educators as the facilitators of a direct dialogue between artists and young audiences.

Windmill’s new Arts Education program is expected to benefit approximately 15,000 school students from primary and secondary schools across South Australia, and will be led by the company’s Arts Education Manager, who is seconded from the Department for Education and Child Development as part of Outreach Education.

By Adam Rossetto

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