Platform Youth Theatre to cease operating in August

Platform Youth Theatre Following the recent announcement that the Big West Festival will cease to exist, another Victorian arts company, Platform Youth Theatre has announced they will cease operations later this month.

In a statement on behalf of the Platform Youth Theatre Board, Manager Company and Programs, Rose Godde said:

“It is with real sadness that the Board and Staff of Platform Youth Theatre announce the company will formally cease operations effective the 31st of August 2016 because, as of this date, we will not have the funds to continue.”

“The demise of this long standing youth arts resource has come about within the context of significant shifts in Federal funding priorities and cuts – more specifically the extinction of priority funding for youth and young emerging artist programs at the Australia Council for The Arts.”

“We do not have the reserves to continue and like many others who applied to Creative Victoria for Organisation Investment Funding 2017 – 2020, we were not successful.”

“As an open access, youth-managed, small arts organisation our abiding focus has been young people ‘Acting Up, Speaking Out’, and finding their voice through theatre. We celebrate those who have “shamelessly mined” the organisation’s resources and have gone on to establish a personal creative practice. We are proud of Platform’s small role in their journey and applaud their progress.”

“Grateful thanks to the many artists who have stepped up over the years to share and inspire. We especially acknowledge the work of Adam Cass, Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas, Nadja Kostich, Susie Dee, Lucy Freeman, Leticia Caceras, Angus Cerini, Wes Snelling, Wally Gunn, Caitlin Dullard, Richard Vabre, Marg Horwell, Emma Valente, Kelly Ryall and Matt Scholten. They are only some amongst many.”

“During eighteen years of operation the company attracted funding through the Australia Council for the Arts – and the now defunct Youth arts program via the Theatre Board, the Literature Board and the Disability Arts Fund, Arts Victoria, Creative Victoria, The Victorian Multicultural Foundation, VicHealth, The Victorian Multicultural Commission, the Cities of Brimbank, Darebin, and Melbourne, The Besen Family Foundation and the Helen McPherson Smith Foundation and we thank those entities as well.”

“There are so many who have supported our work and created special opportunities for us but we would be particularly remiss in not thanking the whole team at La Mama. They have allowed us to regularly turn their venues inside out and upside down from as far back as 2006 with The Yellow Peril and Citizen Corps and most recently with the highly successful Platform at La Mama 2015 collaboration.”

“Since 1998 the role of Manager Company and Programs has been carried by Kath Melbourne, Jim Rimmer, Michele Lee and Rose Godde, we thank each for their efforts.”

“Named for the title of its’ first play, PLATFORM began life as a one term only Drama Project in the City of Darebin with the support of two key Council staff – Mark Wilkinson and Lesley Hall (deceased). We thank them and the many program and project participants.”

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Image: courtesy of Platform Youth Theatre