A fresh take on the art of learning

The idea is to connect schools to the state’s many arts organisations and remind teachers of the resources that are always at their disposal.

‘It’s about helping teachers build their kit of resources for the future,’ says Anne Smith, who as the Arts Education Program Manager at Independent Schools Victoria has been at the forefront of festival planning.

– Gabriella Coslovich writes in the Saturday Age’s Spectrum magazine, on our Arts Learning Festival.

You can read the full story here.

Radio National’s Michael Cathcart featured the Arts Learning Festival on the Books and Arts show. You can listen here.

SBS Italian Radio also featured the festival, in an interview with Paola Zanini, from the Education Department of Castello di Rivoli, creators of the Abi-Tanti. You can listen here.

The festival has also received coverage from other media outlets, such as 3AW, Leader Newspapers and Il Globo.

Ahead of the festival, we shared this release with the media:

Inaugural Arts Learning Festival spotlights the arts in education

A pioneering festival celebrating the central role of the arts in education gets underway this week, attracting students and teachers from all sectors of school education – and the wider community.

The inaugural Arts Learning Festival, hosted by Independent Schools Victoria and staged at Victoria’s premier arts and cultural sites, draws on a rich range of local and international artistic talent.

Endorsed by the Victorian Government and Opposition, and backed by the state’s leading artistic and cultural institutions, the five-day festival is open to all students from all schools.

Featuring dozens of workshops, displays, exhibitions and performances from Wednesday 3 May to Sunday 7 May, it is believed to be the most ambitious arts education festival ever undertaken by an Australian school organisation.

It will feature events at the National Gallery of Victoria, Birrarung Marr, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Immigration Museum, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and elsewhere.

The festival theme is unlimited imagination, and the events focus on the full range of artistic expression, including music, dance, drama, animation, circus arts and literature.

Highlights include:

  • the premiere of Speaking Daggers, a film produced by the acclaimed Shakespeare Republic that gives Shakespeare’s words modern form and contemporary relevance
  • the Art of Listening, which has run as part of the Edinburgh International Festival for more than 20 years
  • the Abi-Tanti project from Turin, reflecting modern themes of refugees and migration
  • Creation of the Third Paradise symbol from the work of acclaimed modern Italian master Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Events running from Wednesday to Friday are primarily aimed at students and teachers.

On Saturday and Sunday, attention shifts to the festival village at Birrarung Marr, with the focus on family and community with a wide range of accessible events, including circus arts sessions, kite making and flying, and green infrastructure workshops.

‘The festival is a celebration of the central role of the arts in education, as important as maths or science,’ ISV Chief Executive Michelle Green said.

‘It recognises the arts are crucial building blocks in students’ academic development and in their emotional wellbeing. The benefits flow though the community, increasing social understanding and creating tangible economic benefits.

‘We want the whole community to take part in the festival, and we’re grateful for the strong support we’ve received from state and local government, the arts community and our key artistic and cultural institutions.’

Anne Smith, ISV’s Arts Education Program Manager and curator of the festival, said the event would connect all sectors of education and the wider community.

‘Artistic creativity is about positive growth, which is also the goal of education, so the festival aligns the core purpose of both,’ she said.