UNICEF to partner with QPAC's Out of the Box

UNICEF Australia has announced a partnership with Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC)’s 2018 Out of the Box Festival for children eight years and under, running from 26 June to 1 July.

The United Nations (UN) children’s agency UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries, the agency works for every child, everywhere to build a better world. UNICEF Australia also provides technical advice and supports the government to develop policy, legislation and practices that help provide a fair chance for children across our country.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch congratulated QPAC on the landmark partnership.

“This is a significant collaboration between two leading organisations with a shared goal to make a positive difference in the lives of young children,” Minister Enoch said.

“This partnership is the first of its kind in the 26 years of QPAC presenting Out of the Box and reflects QPAC’s remarkable international reputation in engaging children with the arts.

“With UNICEF Australia’s expertise in children’s rights and advocacy and QPAC’s legacy in championing arts-based learning for children, this partnership promises to deliver benefits for children in Queensland and beyond,” said Ms Enoch.

Chief Executive for UNICEF Australia Tony Stuart said the partnership reflects the common philosophies and goals of UNICEF and QPAC.

“As a leading public institution, QPAC delivers excellence in programming for children. The Out of the Box Festival positions children as experts, which is in accordance with the Children’s Convention and UNICEF’s mandate,” said Mr Stuart.

“The early years provide a special window to have a profoundly positive impact on children’s health, education and development, across their lives into adulthood.

“Children have a right to culture. We recognise the power of arts and cultural programming as a tool for children to be curious, to explore, and to express themselves.

“The arts, and cultural experiences help children to form identity, find their voice and discover empathy. In a troubled, confusing and disconnected world, Out of the Box provides a safe space where children can make and find meaning on difficult issues,” he said.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the partnership will offer tangible benefits for both organisations and the young children they engage with.

“Our 2018 Out of the Box Festival program has been especially curated to reflect the current communities and world that we live in today. It aims to encourage discussion and offer children a vehicle for understanding themselves and their world through the arts.

“We value the opportunity to partner with internationally respected child’s advocacy agency UNICEF to provide expertise and guidance for Out of the Box programming. We are reflecting key themes such as migration, cultural plurality and plan to explore what ‘home’ means to children today.

“People might know of UNICEF as collecting money for children in need, but much more than this, they work directly in communities around the world to improve children’s lives and advocate for their rights and safety.

“Through Out of the Box, QPAC engages directly with thousands of children from communities across Queensland and recognises their expertise as active participants in the creation of cultural activity,” said Mr Kotzas.

Out of the Box will benefit from advice from UNICEF Australia’s Policy and Advocacy Team and will have access to UNICEF’s global evidence base on emerging issues for children. QPAC will also have access to UNICEF’s global network of experts to strengthen the work of the Festival and endorse it as best practice for children aged eight years and under.

The partnership will see QPAC provide professional development training to key UNICEF Australia staff with a focus on using arts practices and processes to benefit life-long learning.

UNICEF Australia is Out of the Box’s Producing Partner for an exhibition called HOME. Presented in the QPAC tunnel this special exhibition will showcase a diverse range of creative artworks that children have created in the lead up to the Festival which reflect on what ‘home’ means to them.

UNICEF Australia is also Producing Partner for The Arrival, a beautiful production especially commissioned for Out of the Box, about migration and journey. Recreated with New Zealand’s Red Leap Theatre Company the production is adapted from the award-winning novel by Shaun Tan.

For the full 2018 Out of the Box program and Day Pass bookings please go to www.outoftheboxfestival.com.au or phone 136-246.

-ends-

For Out of the Box Festival information and high resolution images click here

For further information or interviews please contact:
Cindy Ullrich, Publicity Manager, QPAC ~ phone (07) 3840 7589, mobile 0434 366 038, email cindy.ullrich@qpac.com.au