Welcome to the 2012 Out of the Box Festival for Children
In 2012 Out of the Box celebrates its 20th birthday. Anniversaries are a time for reflection and gratitude and I acknowledge the enormous contributions from the dedicated Out of the Box staff, artists, arts workers and volunteers of the festival over 20 years, many of whom are still working on the current festival.
Since its inception in 1992, QPAC has recognised the need to provide national leadership in the area of early childhood arts education through Out of the Box. The original belief that the early years of children’s lives determined their future wellbeing is as alive today as it was 20 years ago. As a publicly funded institution, QPAC’s conviction that children’s early lives really matter, is also now supported by our Cultural Centre partners, the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Art Gallery.
The festival was championed by the former CEO of QPAC, Dr Tony Gould, and the inaugural Executive Producer, the late June O’Dowd, with me as the inaugural Artistic Director (1992, 1994). Artistic Directors, Cate Fowler (1996, 1998), Susan Richer (2000, 2002, 2004), Mark Radvan (2006, 2008), Rose Myers (2010) and Executive Producer, Carol Davidson (2012), have all maintained and extended the integrity of a festival aimed at inspiring, educating and entertaining ‘little ones’.
What distinguishes every aspect of the Out of the Box Festival - from planning and viewing performances, eating, playing, painting, dancing, to the train trip to and from the festival – is a deeply thought through positioning of the role of children and their relationship within the communities in which they live. The festival’s underlying aim is always to enhance children’s experience through involvement in the arts by encouraging a sense of wonder, curiosity, discovery and ‘serious fun’.
The importance of the concept of ‘serious fun’ as an educational imperative could not have been known 20 years ago, but today with neuroeducation we know for sure – we always suspected – that children do not pay attention to boring things, it is emotional engagement that helps the brain learn. This is where the arts shine!
As always, there’s a glorious and vibrant program of performances, workshops, and free events across the entire Cultural Centre. There is also a Symposium entitled, Connecting the Dots. Its aim is to fuse discussions around how arts education, practice and the science of child development can bring new understanding to support adults who support children.
Throughout QPAC – the Board of Trustees, management, front of house and behind the scenes staff, Out of the Box is a treasured event on the calendar. Its sustained excellence and commitment to young Queenslanders is something we are all justifiably proud of and committed to continuing in the years to come. We look forward to welcoming you all – thousands of beautiful, hopeful, eager children, your families, carers and teachers to help us sing a loud and joyful – happy birthday to Out of the Box!
Chief Executive, QPAC