29 Jan 2021 E-News

Polyglot’s January e-news

A bright 2021

We’re leaping into 2021 with exciting news: Polyglot was successful in its application to the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative. Together with support from the City of Melbourne’s Arts and Creative Investment Partnership fund, the $180,000 RISE grant will be used to create a new, large-scale, outdoor production called Pram People, which brings professional performers and community participants together in a colourful choreographic spectacle to enliven Melbourne’s CBD.

Through an engagement process with diverse communities, parents of babies will be invited to participate in the work, using their prams as the performance’s central motif. Acknowledging the vulnerability of new parents who were isolated during COVID-19, the project seeks to support their long-term wellbeing as they connect with others through creativity. Activating public space with movement and music, Pram People offers a playful, highly accessible opportunity to rebuild community confidence to participate in cultural events. Creative development is due to begin soon.

A new Polyglot Play Space – Bees ­– commenced pollination in 2020 via online Zoom sessions during the height of Melbourne’s lockdown. We are buzzing with excitement to continue the development in person and and see where our process with children can take the work. Bees has been designed as a COVID-safe performance from the outset, with our artists exploring how to seamlessly weave physical distancing into the experience.

After an extensive Board recruitment campaign in September 2020, with a focus on finding directors who reflect the diverse communities Polyglot works with, three new members were appointed: Matthew Hall, Rasika Mohan and Geoffrey Renton. We look forward to their expert contribution to our organisation.

The first day back in the office also saw us welcome two new staff members: Lucy Day, Business Manager, and Freya McGrath, Assistant Producer. Lucy is an experienced arts administrator and is passionate about supporting both established and up-and-coming arts organisations and artists to produce exceptional work and develop sustainable business practices. Freya is an early career producer and performance maker, and is committed to forwarding discussions about safe practices and wellbeing within the arts industry.

Our beloved Paper Planet is currently being presented by Footscray Community Arts Centre as part of its summer program. We have loved welcoming Melbourne families back to live performance with this blissful, COVID-safe installation. ‘There’s no limit to imaginative play here, where visitors can cut, tear, scrunch and stick together paper creations to add to the biodiversity of the cardboard forest… Adults and children are equally enthralled in this world.’  (Mamma Knows West) The season finishes on 31 January and our artists would love to see you and your family there – find out more on the FCAC website.

With these bold plans and organisational changes, and with the dedication and loyalty of our staff, Board and artists, Polyglot is looking forward to a bright 2021. We are confident that together with the rest of the performing arts industry, we can rebuild a stronger, more resilient and dynamic sector, learning from our shared experience and taking the gifts of the virus with us.

Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.