• education
  • regional

6 October 2016

From a virtual theatre performance, to online music programs, and the development of an interactive history app, Victorian students and teachers in remote locations are set to benefit from Australia's first virtual creative school residencies program.

A photo of a student computer

$150,000 will go to six pioneering projects that will support students in regional and remote areas to connect, and collaborate with, metro-based creative practitioners using online tools and platforms.

A partnership between Creative Victoria and the Department of Education and Training, Virtual Creative Professionals in Schools is a pilot program that aims to provide Victorian students in remote locations with access to the highest quality creative and learning experiences.

The supported projects, which will run across 2016 and the first half of 2017, will teach students and teachers new creative skills - from theatre making, to animation, song writing, storytelling and sculpture - while also providing training in the use of the latest technologies.

The supported projects will use the online programs and software currently being used by Australian creative practitioners to share their work and collaborate virtually with other artists and businesses across the globe.

Virtual Creative Professionals in Schools program - Grant recipients

Swifts Creek P-12 School, $15,000
Artist Michael G.F. Prior will visit the schools as well as using online video conferencing to work with students from his Melbourne studio to create designs for a series of large-scale kinetic sculptures powered by energy from the environment, including solar power. Through workshops exploring basic electronics, mechanics, model-making, 3D drawing, landscaping and video production, students will develop an understanding of contemporary kinetic sculpture and will create permanent sculptures for the school's grounds.

Wodonga Flexible Learning Centre, $35,000
The Centre will partner with music organisation APRA AMCOS to deliver an online and face-to-face music mentoring program that will see some of Victoria's best artists, producers and managers collaborating with students and staff. Students and teachers will be supported by artists and producers to write and record. They will rehearse for studio and live performances; visit recording studios to meet engineers and gain access to many aspects of the industry.

Lismore Primary School, $15,000
Students and teachers will work with in the classroom with artist Glen Walton and composer and music educator Cayn Borthwick, who will collaborate remotely via online conferencing software, on an interactive music workshop. The project will see students create digital musical instruments using Arduino software units. In addition to learning composition skills, students will be introduced to simple wiring and coding concepts. 

Distance Education Centre Victoria (statewide), $35,000
Melbourne Theatre Company and the Distance Education Centre Victoria (DECV) will develop and deliver a 16-week online drama course for Year 8 students. The program will enable young people currently isolated by geographical, medical, social and other factors, to collaborate with artists, teachers and peers. The artists will support and enable students to participate and develop skills in theatre-making practice, using DECV's online learning platform (Moodle). The project will investigate the intersection of digital and live performance and will create a performance event that takes place in both live and virtual spaces.

Horsham College, $35,000
Horsham College and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image will work with Year 9 and 10 students to create animations using open source Toonz animation software. The project will be delivered via a range of ACMI visits to the school, student camp visits to Melbourne and video conferencing. Students will have direct access to professional animation industry creatives, enabling them to see how their animation knowledge and skills can be used across diverse creative industry sectors.

Woodford Primary School, $15,000
Writer and digital artist Olivia Guntarik will work with students to research and explore the histories and stories of Woodford. The group will engage with the local community and will collect photographs, videos and old images and turn them into digital stories and an interactive touring app that will bring local history to life.  Olivia will work with the students both in the school and via online conferencing.