Thank you to Tripwire Theatre Inc for the opportunity to attend the Victorian Theatre Forum 2017. This was my first time attending this style of forum and the facilities at Back to Back Theatre, Geelong were impressive with excellent organisation of the event.
A series of speakers and small working groups on the issues in and about the arts filled our afternoon.
In reflection of the event I feel validated in my concerns about the lack of support of the Arts from a governmental and society level. With a strong push from media, programs and new endeavours, I feel Arts awareness is on the rise but we are still classed as “lower class” and as spoken about, “ at the bottom of the food chain.”
The working group I was involved with was focused on rural performances and the lack of standard shown on a general scale, therefore an action to be taken is to offer Professional Development in rural areas. It was not to just bring the city people to the area as a pity party for the poor country folk but to work with the communities to provide panels/ tutors/ workshop experts from the region itself, surrounding regions and leading experts all with high standards of recognition in the field. The PD would cover Directions, Stage Management, Set Design, Acting and Scriptwriting.
It was proposed for an annual program be toured about the Victorian state to ensure the program is accessible by the communities but also a repeated event for the natural collective to be engaged multiple times and across multiple platforms.
To who this program would be hosted by? Where the money for such a venture is coming from? Who is in a position to support and create this program? This forum was the start of conversations, networking across many areas of the industry and a chance to be heard. Now we need to further act by introducing people, putting up our hand or helping someone else to help from their position for unity in supporting the arts and the possibility of such a program being created for the benefit of our rural communities.
By Alise Amarant.
You can see more of the discussions from VTF here.