Moree children will have the opportunity to coordinate their very own creative arts concert at the end of the year, thanks to a $50,000 state government grant.
Members for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall was in Moree on Friday, February 16 to announce the funding which will go towards StART Moree – a youth-driven, locally-inspired music and performance event that builds transitional employment skills and civic engagement opportunities for at-risk young people in Moree and Mungindi.
StART Moree will be run by Beyond Empathy, in conjunction with Miyay Birray and the Ted Noffs Foundation.
The funding will allow Beyond Empathy to plan, develop and deliver a public art event, like a mini festival, that is led by young people mentored by the Beyond Empathy team and associate artists from the local community and beyond.
Children will have the opportunity to be mentored by a range of creative artists - visual artists, musicians, dancers, producers, photographers, filmmakers and more.
The project will work with Miyay Birray’s Night Culture program – which will be up and running in the next few months – during which children involved will be able to learn these skills.
At the end of the year, they will then use these skills to put together and manage their own public performance concert.
“The funding will allow the kids to show an interest to learn skills to run an event and do it professionally,” Miyay Birray CEO Darrel Smith said.
“The project will give them the skills to do management, coordination, time management and leadership.
“The initial part will be identifying those kids that either have the potential or will to want to do it.”
Mr Smith said it’s about giving children an outlet other than sport, and for some, it could eventually lead to a future career.
“One of the girls we had eight years ago doing the Croc Eisteddfod got a traineeship and ended up going to Perth to study event management and now she runs the cultural performance at Tamworth Country Music Festival,” he said.
Beyond Empathy’s Moree project coordinator Jemma Craigie said the project will give local children something to look forward to and provide opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t receive.
“Hopefully it’ll be the start of a long-term investment into the arts community in Moree,” she said.
“These children can pass knowledge on to the younger generation and leave it in the community.”
Mr Marshall said he is thrilled to be able to support a project which creates opportunities for young people to learn new skills and participate in the community.
“Miyay Birray and Beyond Empathy have got a good record in Moree for running these programs to not only keep young people engaged in positive activities but to give them a chance to explore their creative side and eventually inspire some of them to pursue a career in that field,” he said.
“I’m really pleased and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.”