Creative creatures, kids’ think tank, rain, snow and a Gazillion bubbles!

QPAC’S out of the box program is out of the box!

Today, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) announced the exciting line up for its 2016 Out of the Box festival for children 8 years and under. This longstanding biennial event is a highlight on Brisbane’s cultural calendar for both schools and families alike.

Taking place 21 – 28 June 2016 at QPAC and across the Cultural Precinct and South Bank, Brisbane, Out of the Box provides a rich arts-based program for both schools and the general public. This year’s Festival crosses over the end of the school term and into the June school holidays.

Out of the Box has been curated by QPAC for 24 years and is the only arts festival in Australia dedicated to children 8 and under and one of only a few in the world. It’s also the nation’s largest early childhood arts festival and had more than 103,000 participants in the 2014 festival.

Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP said the Queensland Government had supported Out of the Box since its inception in 1992.

“Children deserve high-quality arts experiences and no other event in Australia brings together art and education as magically as Out of the Box, engaging children, teachers, parents and carers,” the Premier said.

“This is another example of Queensland leading the way in providing innovative arts experiences, giving a voice to children as creators and participants in the arts.”

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the 2016 Out of the Box program considers what it is to be a young learner, and continues QPAC’s tradition of presenting a leading children’s festival across all of QPAC’s theatres, spaces and across the Cultural Precinct and South Bank in collaboration with Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, State Library of Queensland and South Bank.

“Out of the Box demonstrates world’s best practice in arts learning experiences, creatively engaging children eight years and under, and acknowledges that kids are important participants and creators of art now, as well as in the future,” Mr Kotzas said.

“Expressing oneself and communicating what we understand of the world around us through creativity is perhaps the first language we learn. Out of the Box encapsulates what it is to learn by and through the arts via a big program of the best quality internationally and nationally produced children’s events across various art forms. In 2016, the program features 17 world premieres, two Australian premieres, and 18 works specifically commissioned by QPAC.

“We welcome schools, families and visitors to Queensland to participate and discover the fun and excitement of learning through the arts,” said Mr Kotzas.

Out of the Box Festival Director Brett Howe said Out of the Box 2016 is about putting children in the expert’s chair; recognising what we can learn from them, in particular how their expertise at play is important to us all.

“We have placed children centrally in the development of Out of the Box, testing our thoughts, assumptions and programs with children at key stages of the process. In addition, we are holding close to 200 workshops at schools across Queensland to create elements that will be featured across the Festival,” said Mr Howe.

“Our 2016 Festival program reflects Australia’s multi-cultural society and in particular our connection with Asia Pacific cultures. A feature will be Indian cultures, customs and art forms in the program elements of Holi Throw, Rangoli Welcome Mats and Bollywood Dance.

“The overall connecting theme of the Festival is Shining Light into Dark Places, fostering exploration and discovery. The program delivers six different theatre productions, 18 workshops, and 18 free activities; comprising 11 exhibitions/films/activities and seven free workshops.

“In QPAC’s Lyric Theatre we will host an exciting new digital and physical theatre show Creature by Stalker Theatre Company, based on the children’s story Dot and the Kangaroo.

“Direct from Broadway in QPAC’s Concert Hall we are thrilled to present Gazillion Bubble Show, one of the world’s greatest family shows, already seen by more than 22 million people internationally.

“Other program highlights will be Little Big Shots, an international short film festival specifically curated for kids, which will see QPAC’s Melbourne Street Green transform to a ‘Drive-in Cinema’ with kids seated in custom made cars, Snow 4 Kids in The Courier-Mail Piazza, South Bank, and a sensory filled production called Rain: For Babies and Carers.

“A first for Out of the Box in 2016 will be an extension of opening hours into the evening from the weekend of the festival, Saturday 25 June continuing to Tuesday 28 June, when audiences can enjoy performances and special events such as Dad’s Films, featuring childhood favourite films nominated by fathers. These later opening hours are expected to be popular for working families wanting to bring their children to Out of the Box,” said Mr Howe.

“The Festival also includes a museum curated by children, Jarjums Life Museum offering a view into contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the eyes of children from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) and Hymba Yumba Community place (Springfield) and a dedicated Children’s Art Gallery in the QPAC Tunnel showcasing 200 artworks created especially for Out of the Box by children from across Queensland and also Hubei, China.

“In addition to the line up of international and national theatre productions and workshops, Out of the Box 2016 will also present two symposiums, one for educators and the other the ‘K8’ Children’s Symposium, a junior ‘G8’. This co-presentation with SLQ Asia Pacific Design Library will call on the expertise of eight year olds to work alongside designers, architects, project managers and engineers to ‘rethink Brisbane City”, said Mr Howe.

Tickets to Out of the Box 2016 are on sale today, Wednesday 2 March 2016. To book go to www.outoftheboxfestival.com.au or phone 136-246.

For the full Out of the Box 2016 program go to www.outoftheboxfestival.com.au

OOTB Launch - 2 March 16 - Little Big Shots Cardboard Cars Traffic Jam 4

OOTB Launch - 2 March 16 - OOTB Rangoli 1

OOTB Launch - 2 March 16 - QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas 1

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