The arts are what it’s all about

Spectacular circus routines, inspiring words about the importance of the arts and a captivating performance  of the Federation Handbells  – these were amazing highlights of the Arts Learning Festival launch.

In front of a packed audience in The Salon at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Westside Circus drew gasps and applause for a performance that combined juggling, hoops and diablo.

Acclaimed conductor and music educator Richard Gill told the 60 school children who gathered for the launch about the importance of the arts over other disciplines. ‘Repeat after me – the arts are what it’s all about!’

An amazing musical finale was provided by Leah Scholes, whose beautiful performance on the Federation Handbells of Aurora was enchanting.

Students from Sirius College, Holy Rosary Primary School in Kensington and North Melbourne Primary School were part of the launch of the festival, which will run from May 3-7 next year.

Grand collaborative art works, circus performances, an orchestra of teacher musicians, gardens planted in school lockers, learning to listen through live classical music – these are some of the exciting events that make up the Arts Learning Festival.

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The amazing Leah Scholes performs Aurora on the Federation Handbells.

Details of the line-up were released today at the public launch of the festival, an education-based celebration of the arts between 3-7 May next year. Further information can be found on The Presenters page of the festival website.

Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) is presenting the festival, a five-day event for students, teachers, families and the community, featuring programs from around the world and Australia.

We’re inviting students from all school sectors and the wider community to come along and get involved.

The program includes:

  • The Art of Listening, from the Edinburgh International Festival, in which students listen to a live performance of classical music, helping to strengthen listening skills.
  • The Third Paradise project, created by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italy’s foremost contemporary artist. In Australia for the first time, students, teachers, school leaders and community members will have the opportunity to be part of a global learning experience – forming a collective, participatory and transformative work of art experience coordinated by the Education Department Castello di Rivoli.
  • The team from the Education Department Castello di Rivoli bringing their acclaimed program, the Abi-tanti, to the Immigration Museum. Abi-tanti translates to the migrating multitude. The project uses a large number of objects of varying design and size, each marked by a different exterior, yet built around a shared wooden base common to all objects.
  • Through Museum Victoria, access to 15 sets of the Federation Handbells, available for loan to schools across Victoria. Schools will have the opportunity to compose and create musical compositions using these unique percussion instruments, which can then be played on the Federation Bells at Birrarung Marr.
  • Westside Circus, based in a colourful circus tent at Birrarung Marr. Throughout the festival, Westside Circus will provide high energy, adventurous and engaging workshops for students, teachers and families.

‘We believe that the arts are the building blocks in the development of children,’ said ISV’s chief executive Michelle Green. ‘Our festival theme is “unlimited imagination” and we want everyone to come along and see where their imagination will take them.’

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Westside Circus performers amaze at the festival launch.

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