Youth arts – why we should care what young people think

This is a past event.


This quick style insight conversation will focus on the developing role and growth of youth committees and young people’s advisory groups within our arts and cultural organisations. What kinds of expertise do young people bring – as creative producers or advisors? What is their impact and how is the practice of our arts organisations responding to their contribution? How are young people being reached, communicated with and included in the arts beyond being sought as audience members? What does the arts sector look like to newcomers and what are some of the barriers to their involvement?

Hear from a panel of young people and youth arts workers about their experiences and advice on where organisations should start if they haven’t already.

Speakers include:

  • Lucy Achhorner is a Youth Committee member and Young Guide at the MCA as well as an HSC student in North Bondi. The programs for young people at the MCA have inspired her to pursue a career in art and have taught her how to understand different perspectives and communicate new ideas through contemporary art.
  • Emily Buxton is an acting graduate from AFTT, and has performed in various productions and short films since leaving college. This year she is a member of ATYP’s The ATYPicals and the Step Up Program run by Kings Cross Theatre. She is also helping run ATYP’s first ever scratch night, an opportunity to bring emerging young artists together and to share their works.
  • Madelaine De Leon is a recent Media (Comms & Journalism) graduate from UNSW and current Marketing Lead at CPAC Youth who is passionate about music and the arts. Reading Pitchfork, The Brag and a whole heap of indie music blogs in her pre-teens, she became interested in pursuing music journalism but after discovering that there wasn’t much exposure in the Western Sydney music scene, she aims to produce these opportunities for young creative people like herself. She is currently hammering away at producing an E.P. (short album) and hoping to bring a music festival to south-west Sydney one day.
  • Carlee Heise is the Young Leader at Shopfront Arts Co-op, where she leads and represents the voices of Young People at Australia’s home of youth arts. She is also a performance maker and drag king with a Bachelor of Performance from the University of Wollongong. Carlee’s double life means that by day she works in devised theatre and by night she paints on a glitter beard and performs as a drag king with her collective Socks in Jocks. Her most recent credits include Return of Kings at Shopfront Arts Co-Op for the ArtsLab: Uncanned 2019 season, Surf Seance by Rachel Kerry at Bondi Feast and drag performances for organisations such as Biconic, Heaps Gay, Queerspace Australia and Wear it Purple.
  • Em Lienert is a member of the Youth Committee at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She is a proud young Indigenous female, active in the Indigenous community as a spokesperson for young people. She loves learning about art and being able to voice her opinions through the form of art — which is why she loves being part of the Youth Committee so much!
  • Daisy Millpark has been a workshop student at ATYP for many years and has been a part of two productions, Wonderfly in 2017 and Charlie Pilgrim (Or A Beginner’s Guide to Time Travel) in 2018. Daisy has also been a member of the ATYPicals youth advisory panel for the last two years.
  • Stephanie Nguy is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Western Sydney. She currently studies publishing at the University of Sydney, and is also an editor for The Cut. She writes non-fiction and likes to make cultural commentaries. This year she has been published in Mantra Magazine, and Better Read Than Dead’s 2019 anthology.
  • Liliana Occhiuto is a multidisciplinary artist from Western Sydney who is deeply passionate about creative projects that benefit the wider community. By actively contributing in local projects such as the New Age Noise Collective, Powerhouse Youth Theatre and Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Youth Collective, Liliana is doing her part to reconcile her love for the arts with her love for people.
  • Jessica Paraha is a multi-disciplinary artist making music under the moniker taruna. She is a Ngati Hine Māori woman living on Cadigal land, and comes from a long line of storytellers and myth-makers. Her art comes from her whakapapa (genealogy), and through recalling them she pays tribute to her tīpuna (ancestors) and her whenua (lands). Jessica’s practice is ethically community minded, aimed at engaging and empowering her community to celebrate their voices. She has been a proud member of the New Age Noise Collective throughout 2019, currently works as a facilitator for the Stories of Strength program and is also the co-presenter and co-producer of FBi’s weekend breakfast radio show “the Weekend Overhang” with Daisy Catterall.
  • Daniel Potter has been making theatre non-stop since he was 15 years old. He has worked extensively with some of Australia’s most renowned theatre makers and administrators including at Belvoir and Merrigong Theatre Company, leading production and creative teams to countless opening nights across the country and internationally. Daniel is currently in the role of Executive Director / CEO of Shopfront Arts Co. Op. in Sydney. He holds a Bachelors degree in Arts and Entertainment Management with Distinction (Deakin University), with a strong belief that art has the ability to transform. Daniel is passionate about the arts and the empowerment that it provides to adults and young people alike.
  • Hayden Walsh is a Wiradjuri man and the Producer of Indigenous Programs at Sydney Living Museums.  Hayden has worked across a wide range of roles, combining his knowledge from his experience in the not for profit sector, media industry, education system and small business, to support his growth and development throughout numerous roles across museums and galleries. Working across many museums and education programs, Hayden has been able to see behind the scenes on what it takes to produce and deliver a successful education program, to engage young minds with museums and to promote and celebrate Indigenous culture to all audiences. He also runs his own business, delivering workshops and mentoring sessions, which have already reached over 25,000 people across the country.
  • Presenter and Co-Producer Jo Higgins is an educator, writer and public programmer with a focus on informal, peer-led learning programs for young people; arts partnerships and research. She is a 2018 Churchill Fellow, having investigated different models of informal and youth-led learning programs in arts institutions in North America in early 2019, and is currently the Young Creatives Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

This seminar is a partnership between SAMAG and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Co-produced by Sophie Harrington (SAMAG) and Jo Higgins (MCA).

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