YOUTH FROM AROUND THE WORLD COME TO MELBOURNE AS WESTSIDE CIRCUS SHOWCASE NATIONAL TREASURES, A PROJECT BRINGING TOGETHER YOUNG PEOPLE FROM UK, SWEDEN, BRAZIL, SHEPPARTON AND MELBOURNE.
Westside Circus is Melbourne’s leading not for profit organisation for young people participating in circus. They believe that creativity and imagination are invaluable human assets that build empathy and can positively change the world; and that circus is an excellent way to learn them. One way they are doing this is to uncover National Treasures.
National Treasures is a youth exchange and research project, developed by partners from the UK, Sweden, Brazil and Australia, using non-formal and informal education methodologies in formal education settings. Each company uses a different methodology. Westside Circus uses circus to engage young people, the Brazilian company use African drumming to support homeless kids in Sao Paulo, the Swedes use creative drama to support unaccompanied minors fleeing war zones as refugees and asylum seekers and the UK company have a series of sports scholarships and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. National Treasures brings together six young people from each country to exchange world views and explore activities including a visit to Cirque du Soleil, drumming performances, circus workshops and even an AFL training session.
The project, supported by the European Union initiative ERAMUS + and Creative Victoria, will be launched on Monday November 13 at the Darebin Parklands and will conclude on Friday November 17 with a celebration at Westside Circus (41 Cramer St Preston
), that will include performances by the young people about their culture and the experiences they shared over the week. For information about these contact Westside Circus on 9471 2928.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer young people we work with an opportunity to meet young people from other countries for the purposes of cultural exchange and creative development.” said Westside Circus CEO, Simon Clarke. “It is the kind of experience that can make such a difference to their life.”
At Westside Circus young people from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds access creative and healthy activities and make performances that are so full of heart and a wicked sense of humour. The heart comes from Westside Circus’ inclusive practice that actively and consciously creates space in their performances for young people in vulnerable or less advantaged circumstances, understanding that they have less access to activities believed to be so vital.
Westside Circus is the only funded circus in Melbourne working with young people as their core business, and actively reaching into vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to make a tangible difference to the lives of young people.After 21 years, Westside Circus is going from strength to strength. They aspire to be a vigorous and inspiring youth circus for all young Victorians, valued by their communities for the contribution they make to arts and education. Their goals encourage a sense of purpose in young people and build pathways to professional practice.