Future Echoes – a new annual festival celebrating performance created by young people

ACM Future Echoes Provocations and Postcards - photo by Pier Carthew For the first time Arts Centre Melbourne will present a new festival celebrating ideas and performance made by and with young people aged 13 – 30. Future Echoes – a four day festival from 23-26 October 2019, will feature new work by leading youth arts organisations and emerging artists from across Victoria.

In the festival’s pilot year, young creatives will challenge ways of thinking with provocations and postcards from the future, and invite audiences into their processes – featuring premiere performances, screenings, participatory experiences, workshops and events by leading Victorian arts organisations and artists working with young people including ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, St Martins, Western Edge Youth Arts, Outer Urban Projects and Express Media.

The young creatives involved in the performances have explored ideas of indigenous futurism, transcending gender and how to become agents of change. The festival will provide audiences with opportunities to contemplate, participate, experience, share, reflect, break bread and celebrate.

Future Echoes is designed to be a reverberation of ideas that haven’t yet been sounded, events that will occur in the future but can be seen in the present and a window into what’s to come from the next generation. There will also be a nightly series of facilitated networking opportunities on the Arts Centre Melbourne lawn, in which young creatives can meet, break bread and discuss critical issues.

“This exciting new festival invites audiences to tune into the future with four days to experience, contemplate, participate, celebrate and connect with the next generation of creative thinkers and performance makers,’’ says Arts Centre Melbourne Young Connectors Creative Producer Pippa Bainbridge.

“Future Echoes is a much-needed platform, which opens the doors of Arts Centre Melbourne to fresh voices, new narratives and works in progress, providing vital opportunities that will reverberate within the Victorian youth arts sector and beyond for many years to come.”

Held across Arts Centre Melbourne’s venues and open spaces the festival’s innovate program will thrill audiences across a weekend. The 2019 festival includes:
– ILBIJERRI Ensemble’s inaugural performance presenting Conversations with the Dead, Richard Frankland’s response to being an investigator during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987-1991).
– The premiere of Western Edge Youth Arts Edge Ensemble’s original short film paying tribute to Victoria’s western suburbs and the communities that call it home
– The premiere of award-winning performer, poet and writer wani Le Frère’s coming-of-age story, garcon, exploring the nuances of black boyhood.
Urban Studio – a joyous performance event where musicians and vocalists from Pasifika, hip hop and classical genres combine to highlight the best of Outer Urban Projects arsenal of emerging talent
Escape Velocity Walks the City – a participatory performance by St Martins Youth Arts inviting participants to walk the city in the hands of local trans and gender non-conforming young people
Got Stuck – a performance sharing the voices of a two-year music project run by Living Music in Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres featuring N’Fa Jones, Fraksha, Hvncoq and Kotare.
– Critical Conversation panels by the Emerging Writers’ Festival featuring young and emerging artists
Dig Deep & Sisters on the Mic – live performance hosted by Thando, Mantra, MoMo and MCK
Road to Victory Showing in which young people explore through a TED style talk fascist regimes and their obsession with youth
Breaking Bread – a picnic under Inge King’s iconic sculpture Forward Surge, were young and emerging artists can tell their stories, sharing their practice and facilitating dialogue about the festival
Provocations and Postcards delivered by Express Media’s young writers about their shared visions for the future
Public Eye – an interactive performance by immersive theatre; and gaming collective PlayReactive – exploring privacy and data collection
Friends Forever – a theatre workshop led by Samara Hersch and Lara Thoms, exploring friendship and politics
Self Love as Cultural Revolution – a self-care and self-love workshop by award-winning spoken word and multi-disciplinary performer Tariro Mavondo

Alongside Future Echoes, Arts Centre Melbourne will launch Connect – its new mentorship program for the next generation of creative leaders from across the arts sector and beyond.

In its pilot year, four Connectors aged 18 – 25 will be selected to take a examine Future Echoes, responding critically and creatively to the festival, and building the skills and agency to contribute to the design of programs for young people at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Future Echoes
Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performances: 23 –  26 October 2019
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au

Image: Provocations and Postcards – photo by Pier Carthew