Creating Opportunities With The Kiln In Melbourne

  • Written by  Cooper Flick
  • Tuesday, 28 May 2019 16:23
Published in Arts  
|   Tagged under   
The Kiln The Kiln

'A place for Melbourne’s independent arts community to explore, hone and develop professional practice'.

Arts Centre Melbourne will host The Kiln programme, an opportunity for artists and arts workers to network, learn and brainstorm new ideas and techniques within the world of arts.

We spoke to Arts Centre Melbourne's Creative Producer for Theatre & Contemporary Performance, Tim Stitz about the exciting event.

What is the main goal of The Kiln 2019?
To offer the independent arts sector a place and context to come together, talk, network, foster new work, and engage in workshops and masterclasses that will up-skill and develop people’s professional practice.
How will it differ from similar events?
We are fortunate in Melbourne to have a rich array of professional development opportunities for artists and arts workers but The Kiln offers more than a one-off event – it’s a month-long focus on exploring and developing practice, and allows multiple meeting and departure points.
What are some of the opportunities that will be provided for participants?
Across the programme three themes resonate really strongly: Access, inclusion and representation. These are burning topics within the sector at the moment, and will be explored via workshops, talks and networking events. So the opportunities are to learn, talk and connect (and explore your own creativity).
Who can come along to the sessions?
Anybody – The Kiln is open to the public. The programme’s focus is artists and arts workers in Melbourne’s independent and small-to-medium arts sector, and predominately those in the performing arts, yet anyone interested is welcome to come along and engage with the programme.
Will The Kiln return for next year?
The last Kiln was in 2017, and that was its first incarnation, so we envisage it to be a biennial affair. The next edition will likely be in 2021.
Which event are you personally most excited for?
The event that I’m personally most excited for is one of the first events for The Kiln in 2019. It is a big photoshoot centred on the grass-roots visibility campaign #justnotthatmany. This campaign has been initiated by a handful of artists from the theatre and film/TV industries, who are seeking to quash the assumption that there just aren’t that many diverse, non-white actors, artists, designers, arts workers in the arts, including those with lived experience of disability. It’s going to be epic and a lot of fun. There will be a panel session to follow it up, half way through The Kiln programme.
How can participants get the most out of The Kiln experience?
Survey the programme, find the sessions that spark your interest, book into those, and as you would for any art series or festival, choose at least one thing that is a bit out of your comfort zone. My other recommendation is to do at least one Kiln event each week of June (so experience at least four)!
What are some of the goals of Arts Centre Melbourne over the coming years?
 I’m quite new to Arts Centre Melbourne (I’ve been in the position for just over a month now) though what I’ve observed so far is a commitment to re-think how and what we programme, and a desire to involve audiences and artists that have not been adequately represented and visible on our stages. The Big World Up Close series, which has just launched its 2019 edition, is evidence of this.
Also, the Victorian government’s desire to reimagine and redevelop the entire Southbank Arts Precinct is something Arts Centre Melbourne will be heavily involved in the next few years. Arts Centre Melbourne's Theatres Building will undergo a top to bottom ‘reimagining’ and redevelopment, and an entirely new building will be added to the Centre at 1 City Road (which is directly behind the spire, where Testing Grounds is currently situated). A key goal for Arts Centre Melbourne is to strongly and carefully bring artists, audiences and the arts sector on this journey. It has such exciting potential to change the face of the city.
What does the future of the arts look like from your perspective?
The future of the arts to me is one where across the arts, on our stages, in our audiences and staffing our arts centres, our whole community is represented, welcomed, valued and present. My ideal future is also one where the arts is more significantly valued at all levels of our education system and more deeply valued in wider society. Another dream is that the arts receive similar coverage as sport does in our newspapers and online media. I’d also love to see more of our politicians, community and business leaders talk publicly about their passions in the arts; what they love and why.

The Kiln is on at Hamer Hall from 2-29 June.


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