Performance Poets get a boost

Andrew-Galan.-Photo-by-Adam-Thomas.
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Southern Tablelands Arts are thrilled to announce that the Virtual to Actual Performance Poetry project is one of 11 projects state-wide that have successfully received funding through the Regenerate Regional Event Initiative through Create NSW.

Virtual to Actual Performance Poetry is possible through a partnership between Southern Tablelands Arts, Eastern Riverina Arts, Jugiong Writers Festival and Southern Highlands Writers Festival. The project connects performance poets and young people through online workshops and performance opportunities.

Andrew Galan, who enjoys a national profile for his performance poetry and writing has signed up to lead the project by mentoring two emerging poets and creating new work for each of the writer’s festivals. Andrew has been at the forefront of establishing spoken word as an art form and has been described as a voice of the surreal and satirical.

Jacki Okot is an emerging poet from Wagga Wagga who joins the project from the Eastern Riverina Arts area. Jacki, with support from Andrew through a program of regular mentoring sessions, will lead a poetry group for young people. The youth poetry group will meet regularly online, creating connections and creative outlets during this incredibly difficult time. Jacki will join Andrew for a performance at the Jugiong Writers Festival.

Moving East, the project will run a parallel program around the Wingecarribee area. Southern Tablelands Arts are keen to hear from interested emerging performance poets who would like to join the project, be mentored by Andrew and lead a youth poetry online workshop series. This role includes a performance at the Southern Highlands Writers Festival in Bowral and is a professional opportunity for the successful emerging poet.

Perhaps most importantly, Virtual to Actual is looking for young people to join one of the two youth poetry groups. One is centred around Wagga Wagga and the other in the Wingecarribee district, although with workshops being offered online, the project is open to all interested young people (13-18 years of age) across the Southern Tablelands Arts and Eastern Riverina Arts territories.

Virtual to Actual Performance Poetry will achieve a lasting legacy of new work, performance, professional development and youth opportunity. Thanks to the funding through Create NSW, the project provides professional opportunities for poets to continue to work at their craft during a time when nearly all paid gigs and opportunities have ceased due to social isolation restrictions.

For more information, to express an interest in working as part of the project or to join a youth poetry group visit southerntablelandsarts.com.au or email ao@southerntablelandsarts.com.au

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