The Community Day program for the Arts Learning Festival has been unveiled, with a rich array of free and bookable events designed for families.

The festival, presented by Independent Schools Victoria, celebrates the importance of the arts in education. All students and teachers in all schools – and the community – are invited to join us.

Thursday 2 May and Friday 3 May are devoted to students and teachers, but the focus shifts to families and the rest of the community on Saturday 4 May.

Acclaimed author John Marsden launches the Arts Learning Festival Community Day program.

Acclaimed author John Marsden at the launch of the Arts Learning Festival Community Day program. Students were given a writing masterclass.

The Community Day program, reflecting our festival theme of ‘unlimited imagination’, was launched by best-selling author John Marsden at the State Library of Victoria, and Michelle Green, Chief Executive of Independent Schools Victoria. John, Principal of Candlebark and Alice Miller School, also gave a writing masterclass to students from Erasmus Primary School and Korowa Anglican Girls’ Grammar School.

You can watch the highlights here:

The festival village will be located at Birrarung Marr, near Federation Square, with free activities for kids and families, as well as drop-in workshops and activities by some of the festival’s leading presenters, including:

  • New York-based Oliver Herring celebrated TASK Party – an open, hands-on experience where teens and adults can generate imaginative responses and limitless solutions to randomly selected tasks.
  • The Creative Garden, presented by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. Activities include making pots from newspapers and planting seeds in them, and leaf rubbing to explore the shape, texture and colour of local plants.
  • Archi-Loom – a giant, interactive loom installation where everyone fills in the walls of the structure by weaving, and using recycled materials. What emerges is a large, slowly evolving collaborative art installation.
  • Ausdance Victoria’s The Big Dance, where everyone can join a free Big Dance workshop and be a part of Arts Learning Festival 2019’s closing performance. (Our main image is of a previous performance, courtesy of Ausdance Victoria).
Arts Learning Festival: Sasha Leong from Ausdance Victoria taught students the moves of The Big Dance

Sasha Leong, from Ausdance Victoria, taught students the moves of The Big Dance at our Community Day launch.

There are also several bookable events at nearby venues, including:

  • Tim Ferguson’s Billie and the Dinosaurs, a musical journey through a narrated orchestral performance, where our hero, Billie, runs away from school bullies, falls through a mysterious waterfall, and discovers a world of dinosaurs.
  • Rhythms and Cycles, presented by internationally-renowned puppeteer Gary Friedman. Kids create paper puppets that come to life, in a workshop that includes ‘brain gym’ movements, storytelling and performance.
  • The Inner Voice, presented by operatic tenor Chris Elliott and a classical accompanist, leading  participants through a transformative, musical experience exploring the power of song.

You will also be able to try our new short story dispensers, which will feature the work of students who enter our short story competition.

Students from Korowa Anglican Girls' Grammar try out the short story dispensers

Students try out the new short story dispensers, which will feature the work of students at the festival.

The Short Edition story machines dispense one, three and five-minute stories on strips of paper like supermarket dockets.

To find out more and to book, visit our Arts Learning Festival website.

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Posted by Independent Schools Victoria