QPAC investing in early childhood arts education OUT OF THE BOX FESTIVAL 1992â€“2017
We Built this City, 2012 ii
About Out of the Box
Community Cultural Engagement
The Festival in Numbers
10 Intellectual Leadership
About Out of the Box Out of the Box is a festival of art showcasing an ambitious program of new performing arts works for young children and community engaged arts with them. Its two significant objectives include to present world class artistic excellence in performing arts for children, and to generate best practice in community arts and cultural development. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) produces this major event and attracts the attention of families and schools. The first festival was launched by QPAC in 1992 and more than a million people have engaged with arts and culture. Over its quarter century, the festival has added to the cultural life of Queensland, Australia and the world by putting young children and the arts on centre stage. Out of the Box provides young children from birth to eight years the opportunity to develop their individuality, diversity and aesthetic learning, as well as their well-being.
Lanterns from Creative Creatures, 2016
Under-age Stage Asia, 2014
Creature Workshop, 2016 3
Artistic Excellence Out of the Box is committed to presenting world class performing arts for children, and in the process has transformed the performing arts sector in Queensland. Over 100 new works have been commissioned since the first festival with many receiving acclaim that has led to national and international tours. Several commissions and productions first staged at Out of the Box have had lives beyond the festival in various countries around the world. The tours have gone across Queensland into regional, rural and remote communities, as well as across the country to Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and the Northern Territory. Internationally, productions have toured the United States of America, Canada, Denmark and Korea.
“Everyone was singing or clapping, mothers were sighing at the tender moments and children were bouncing in their seats laughing at the silly moments.” Meredith McLean, XS Entertainment.
“This is so stunningly beautiful and touching. Children of all ages should come away with a smile.” Susan Hetherington, ABC Radio.
Above top: The Flying Orchestra, 2012 Above: Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and The Kangaroo, 2016 4
“The toy story is simply enchanting… By the end, the children’s participation is guaranteed, and they stream from the theatre with radiant faces.” The Sydney Morning Herald
Fluff: A story of Lost Toys 2002
“Wake Baby is one of those collaborative efforts that hides much of its expertise in the darkness concealing its puppeteers while it lights the faces of youngsters with awe and laughter.” The New York Times
Wake Baby, 1996 5
Community Cultural ENGAGEMENT A key objective of Out of the Box is to generate best practice in community arts and cultural development. Through a number of pre-festival programs, children from schools across Queensland have been given the chance to engage with artists in residence in their schools and communities to produce work that is showcased at each festival. Cultural development activities that run through Out of the Box are a deliberate component of the festival with the intention of recognising children as creators and as consumers of arts and cultural product.
HIGHLIGHTS Opening Parade (1992) One of the earliest forms of Community Cultural Engagement came from the opening parade in the very first Out of the Box Program. The parade engaged more than 700 children through an artist residency program that involved 11 artists working with children from 23 schools in the six weeks before the event.
“The focus wasn’t so much on the execution of the parade but on the interaction between artists and teachers and students in the classroom, and legitimising what children do with art as part of their education experience.” John Kotzas, Artistic Director 1992
“Production values were high, with a visually arresting design, atmospheric lighting and beautiful animations and graphics.” Tony Mack, Lowdown
Wide Awake (2000) The production of Wide Awake in the 2000 Festival was a collaboration with three schools to develop a spectacular multi-form production; West End State School, Yeronga State School and Kelvin Grove State School participated with the Queensland Conservatorium of Music’s Trombone Ensemble and Loops Trio.
Jarjums Life Museum (2016) In continuing with QPAC’s commitment to promote and respect the rich customs of Australian Indigenous cultures, 86 children and seven artists from the Minjerribah and Hymba Yumba communities were invited to create the Jarjums Life Museum, the world’s first museum curated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Exploring the children’s lives, experiences and dreams, this free exhibition in QPAC’s Tony Gould Gallery aimed to display the unique culture of today’s Aboriginal children.
“We wanted to let people know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are alive and have a contemporary culture.” Jane Jennison, Lead Artist (ABC News)
The Festival in Numbers
People have engaged with the festival
Year by Year Attendance Statistics
Free attendance Ticketed attendance
Ticketed and free attendance
Each festival features a range of arts engagements for young children including stage performances, workshops, exhibitions and activities. More than 13,000 events have been on the festival calendar. 20 000
16 000 14 000 12 000
1 000 800 600 400 200 0
3,910 volunteers have been engaged in Out of the Box, making an in-kind contribution of more than $1,000,000. Many volunteers have returned to the festival year after year, and one volunteer was with every festival. QUT students from Early Childhood and Creative Industries are a central core of the volunteers. 500
1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Scratch ‘n’ Scrap Opera, 1994
Sticky Maze, 2012
Carnival of Animals, 2014
Taiko Drummers, 1996
Drumming workshop, 2014
Red Earth, Blue Water, 2008.
One Sun, One World, Many Dreams, 2016
Intellectual Leadership Out of the Box created many new works and these remain part of its intellectual history. As well, Out of the Box generated a range of new arts and cultural practices for engaging with young children, allowing artists and arts organizations to develop deep relationships with children, communities and schools. A small but growing body of academic research has been carried out on the festival and there are a range of publications which have emerged. Each festival has hosted a conference to generate dialogue about young childrenâ€™s artistic lives, and to disseminate information to a broad public and professional audience.
Professor Judith McLean, QPAC Scholar in Residence with Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM, Jane Jennison and Jessica McVeigh at the 2016 Conference.
John Kotzas, Festival Artistic Director, Speaking to teachers, 1992
K8 Childrenâ€™s Symposium and Our Children, Our Communities, Our Future, 2016
Symposiums o 1992 Deliberate Decision-Making in the Arts & The Art of Play o 1994 Yinila: A Conference for Artists and Educators o 1996 Forums: Out of the Box-Hybrid or Well Bred? o 1998 Festival Forums o 2000 Our Children Our Future o 2003 QPAC’s Out of the Box Symposium o 2004 The City of Children Forum o 2008 Child Friendly Cities Symposium o 2010 Changing Habitats: Are children & young people democratising culture? o 2012 Connecting the Dots…Symposium o 2014 Second International Teaching Artist Conference o 2016 K8 Children’s Symposium & Our Children, Our Communities, Our Future (with C&K)
K8 Children’s Symposium and Our Children, Our Communities, Our Future, 2016