“[Creative experiences are] very important for us because it creates memories and special feelings… It’s like the roots building inside [my] child’s heart and growing something later when similar spaces, activities and people show up again.” Parent, 2022
World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People has been celebrated by ASSITEJ International on 20 March since 2001, and promoted through the message ‘take a child to the theatre today’. It is an important opportunity to reflect on how we ensure the children and young people in our communities have access to extraordinary arts experiences.
Participation in the arts strengthens childrens’ capacity, from their mental health to school engagement, creative thinking, their social connection and sense of belonging, confidence and literacy. Supporting art made with and for children directly empowers children and creates a robust foundation for their bright futures.
Free and low-cost arts events – those that are most accessible – are not possible without the support of our governments: local, state and federal.
An election year is a great time to contact your local MP to support increased funding for the arts so that children in your community, and communities across the country, can access experiences like this more often.
Polyglot’s Executive Director Kath Fyffe wrote a short message to mark the day:
“World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the importance of children’s participation in the arts. The role that arts and culture plays in social cohesion and connection is significant, and especially crucial as we recover from the upheaval of the past two years. All children have the right to access art and creativity, and it’s up to all of us to ensure they can.
At Polyglot, engaging children and their families in fun and meaningful theatre experiences is our reason for being. We often hear from our audiences about the special moments of connection they share when attending the theatre or exploring one of our big outdoor works. This day reminds us that children can’t access theatre experiences without the action of the adults in their lives, be that the logistics of booking a ticket or travelling to the venue, or to share the experience with them.
We haven’t had as many chances to take children to the theatre in recent times, so when we can, let’s take this precious opportunity to provide all the fun, expression, learning, connection and community that theatre offers.”
Our Artistic Director Sue Giles AM is the President of ASSITEJ International, and her message can be read here.
If you would like to share your thoughts and feelings, please consider completing our World Day of Theatre for Children survey: surveymonkey.com/r/wdt-2022
Photography: Jason Lau, courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne