More on this petition:
In tough times we turn to Arts and Culture. We embrace our community, we share our stories and create opportunities to come together. But for 4.7 million young people growing up in Australia right now, a different stage is being set. Help us send a message to the Federal Government that the arts are important to the lives of all young Australians. In the midst of these uncertain times, The Australia Council for the Arts has defunded five of Australia’s biggest youth theatre companies. This is the latest in an ongoing pattern - in the past 10 years more than 25 youth arts companies have had their government funding taken away. These five companies, the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Barking Gecko Theatre, Polyglot Theatre, Shopfront Arts Co-op and St Martins Youth Arts, work directly with hundreds of thousands of Australians every year. That’s fewer stories for and about our young people, fewer places for them to come together to experience, to imagine, to problem solve and create. Fewer places for our young people to be seen and heard. We’re committing to a future where the next generation of scientists won’t know what it means to think outside the square, where less kids become politicians who can advocate clearly, loudly and from the heart, and the creation of CEOs who don’t approach their role with empathy. No sporting code in the world would say: “There isn’t enough money for our sport, we need to cut our youth programs.” Because they understand the players and fans of tomorrow are the kids of today. We are calling on all Australians to #takethestage on behalf of our young people and sign our petition. The Federal Government needs to address the lack of funding for youth arts companies. The evidence for investing in the youth theatre sector is undeniable: Participation in the performing arts improves learning across all curriculum areas Research shows that participation in youth performing arts has a significant measurable impact on mental health, wellbeing and connection to community Participation in the youth theatre sector provides a career development pipeline that fuels all industries, not just theatre and film What we do now matters for us all, but most of all for young people. We need to make sure the world they’re living is a place where they can solve problems, show compassion and resilience, dream boldly, respect and embrace everybody’s differences. We need to give our young people every opportunity we can to prepare them to shine at their brightest. Please sign our petition and help the next generation #takethestage they deserve. * The companies that have been defunded by the Australia Council include: Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Arena Theatre Company; Backbone Youth Arts; Barking Gecko Theatre; Canberra Youth Theatre; Cirkidz; Jigsaw Theatre Company; La Mama Theatre; Lowdown; Monkey Baa Theatre Company; Outback Theatre for Young People; PACT; Platform Youth Arts; Polyglot Theatre; Riverland Youth Theatre, Shopfront Theatre; Slingsby; St Martins Theatre; The Blue Room; Urban Myth Theatre of Youth; Southern Edge Youth Theatre; and Young People and the Arts Australia.