Fresh ideas sought for ArtPlay New Ideas Lab

CoM ArtPlay Rain by Drop Bear TheatreThe City of Melbourne’s ArtPlay is on the hunt for the next batch of exciting projects, with applications now open for the 2019 New Ideas Lab. Artists are invited to pitch their ideas for projects to be created and developed with children and families at ArtPlay, with support for projects between $10,000 and $20,000.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Arts portfolio, Councillor Rohan Leppert, said the once a year opportunity offers a chance for artists to explore new ways of working and engaging with children. “ArtPlay is all about putting children first and that’s what we expect from all artists involved in the New Ideas Lab,” said Cr Leppert.

“Shortlisted artists will be invited to pitch their ideas in person to a panel of four children and four adults with equal voting rights. If successful, projects will be given the support needed to realise their visions and become part of the ArtPlay family.”

The ArtPlay New Ideas Lab has fostered numerous projects which have gone on to tour locally, nationally and internationally, including Rain by Drop Bear Theatre and The Seam, which has toured in Hong Kong, Macau and New York.

Applicants do not necessarily need experience working with children as long as they have a passion and enthusiasm for involving them in the creative process. Mentors are recommended for those with little experience in this area.

Former ArtPlay artist, Roslyn Oades, said the New Ideas Lab showcased the importance of seed funding for artistic risk-taking and the creation of new works. “The room to fail and reinvent and change direction outside of looming presentation deadlines was liberating and exciting,” said Ms Oades.

“The knowledge, engagement and commitment of ArtPlay’s passionate staff gave us the confidence and a safe space to make a work with and for children for the first time.”

ArtPlay is City of Melbourne’s unique arts studio where artists and children (aged from babies to 12 years) collaborate to create innovative arts experiences together.

Applications for the 2019 New Ideas Lab are now open, and close Friday 29 March 2019 – 5.00pm. For more information and guidelines, visit: for details.

Image: Rain created by Drop Bear Theatre as part of ArtPlay’s New Ideas Lab.