May was another busy month for Polyglot, and that’s just the way we like it!
We were delighted to welcome two new members to Polyglot’s Board at our AGM: Sandra Robertson and Jacob Boehme. Sandra has over 20 years’ experience in fundraising for the not-for-profit sector, and is currently the Director, Development at Melbourne Recital Centre. Jacob is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. He is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for the stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals, and was the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI Festival. You can read more about their appointment here.
We’ve just launched our 2019 fundraising appeal, and we’re excitedly looking ahead to the future of Polyglot. How can we make the next chapter of our long history of empowering children even stronger? Last year, we experienced the incredible impact of our community’s support as donations large and small powered Polyglot’s relocation to our new home. In 2019 we’d love your support for the next chapter of Polyglot’s work – find out more here.
We are also proud to share our 2018 Annual Report. In 2018, Polyglot presented 136 performances, facilitated 107 community project sessions and led 150 workshops, reaching children, families and artists in nine different countries! You can read the full report here.
May also featured Polyglot’s Canadian debut, which spanned three festivals with Paper Planet presented at Ottawa Children’s Festival and the International Children’s Festival of the Arts in St Albert, and Ants at Junior – International Children’s Festival at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Polyglot artist Nick Barlow spoke to CBC News Ottawa about Paper Planet – watch this here. This tour wraps up next week with a very exciting outing for Ants in the heart of New York City, presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.
First On The Ladder: Shopfront was presented by YIRRAMBOI Festival in Melbourne’s Chapter House Lane. A big thanks to YIRRAMBOI and to all the talented artists who created and installed the exhibition, as well as the awesome kids at Rumbalara Football Netball Club who continue to amaze us by sharing in the journey of First On The Ladder.
We finished the month with the Chinese premiere of Ants at the Xintiandi Festival. First launched in 2016, Xintiandi Festival is a large-scale arts event that takes place in diverse site-specific, outdoor and commercial spaces in the heart of Shanghai’s old town.
Coming up in June, we premiere a new work at our home in Abbotsford Convent as Light Pickers, created by artists Mischa Long, Stefanie Robinson and Glen Walton through the Generator program, is presented in partnership with Convent Kids. Light Pickers is a beautiful installation for babies and young children, where abstract, organic shapes fill a dark space with light and sound. Participants can touch, move and interact with the objects, transforming the dark space into a light picture that shifts and changes throughout the session with the children’s currents of creativity. Free performances take place from 25-29 June in the Oratory – for bookings and more information click here.
Polyglot Theatre is delighted to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors – Sandra Robertson and Jacob Boehme.
A Canadian by birth, Sandra has over 20 years’ experience in fundraising for the not-for-profit sector. She is currently the Director, Development at Melbourne Recital Centre. “It is a privilege to join the Board of Polyglot. I was inspired by my mentor Betty Amsden’s love for the company and admiration for Sue Giles, who is a national living treasure. I love the fact that Polyglot begins and ends with children’s infinite creativity. This is a world-leading approach that deserves recognition and support.” Sandra Robertson
Jacob is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. He is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for the stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals, and was the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI Festival. He recently received the Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship at the 12th National Indigenous Arts Awards. “Polyglot is an international leader in experiential theatre made for and with children. Sue Giles and Polyglot have played a vital role in my development as a visual/dance artist. As a former Polyglot artist, it is a privilege to join the Board and to give something back to an organisation that has given so much to myself, to the sector and to millions of young creative minds around the world.” Jacob Boehme
Sandra and Jacob join Polyglot’s current Board Directors: Sarah Hunt (Chair), Mario Agostinoni (Treasurer), Belinda Bowman, Kathy Fox and Dr Mark Williams.
Sarah writes, “I am delighted to welcome respected leaders Jacob Boehme and Sandra Robertson to Polyglot Theatre’s Board. Jacob’s connection to Polyglot’s artistic work is long-standing, and we know the company will benefit greatly from his broad knowledge and strong connections in First Nations artistic communities in Australia and internationally. Sandra is a fundraising expert who will offer great insight and expertise to Polyglot’s development strategy. Her connection to the late Betty Amsden AO, Polyglot’s much loved patron, is also deeply valued.”
“I love that Polyglot’s work can offer something to everyone, from the loud boisterous kids to the quietest and most insular child; to the leaders, to the collaborators, and to the dreamers. Polyglot artists are there to create this space. The beauty lies in the fact that the work not only impacts the kids but they impact the work, in huge ways. This means that the work is ever changing and ever evolving – as an artist, the facilitation will always change and be fluid, and in turn be incredibly enriching.” Emily Tomlins, Polyglot artist.
At Polyglot, we have a unique relationship with our artists. We have a core of individuals, each with their own creative practice, who work across all areas of the company. They do everything from run school workshops and residencies in communities (from regional Australia through to the tsunami-devastated town of Minami Sanriku in Japan), perform at globally prestigious arts centres, and present papers on Polyglot’s child-led creative practice at international symposia.
Importantly, these artists have been trained by Polyglot in the specialist skillset required to authentically engage with children and empower them to explore their creativity and imagination. Unleashing this inner creative potential is the job of Polyglot’s artists, and it is essential that we continually train new artists to reach more children as Polyglot continues to expand.
“The best part of working on First On The Ladder is watching the strength and independence grow with each child as they begin their journey in expressing their culture in a positive and safe environment. Being able to help these kids express their pride of culture through arts and sports to people outside of their club, watching them as they feel heard and acknowledged is the part I’ve enjoyed the most.” Jaimie-Lee Hindmarsh, Polyglot artist.
To help Polyglot empower more children by training artists in our unique working ethos, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Donations of $250 or more are recognised through our donor program, Polyglot’s Circle. Donations can be made in a number of ways – find out more and give here.
“Every Polyglot workshop or performance brings a different experience – it’s completely driven by the kids who are part of it and they get to feel that. As a Polyglot artist I think the biggest part of our role is to be open to going on that journey in whatever shape it takes.” Sylvie Meltzer, Polyglot artist.
Click HERE to donate now and support Polyglot in 2019.
“Each year at Polyglot sees this extraordinary company seek new adventures and punch well above its weight in the creation and delivery of arts experiences for the young. 2018 was no exception. The discoveries and new relationships this year took us into places we’ve never been; through touring, residencies, creative developments, and into a brand new home!” Sue Giles (Artistic Director) and Viv Rosman (Executive Director)
In 2018, Polyglot presented 136 performances, facilitated 107 community project sessions, ran three school residencies, undertook two creative development processes and led 150 workshops, all in all reaching 30,345 people in nine different countries. We also reached our biggest fundraising target ever ($50,000) and moved into our new home at Abbotsford Convent. To find out more about our adventures in 2018, check out our Annual Report here.