Rainbow families are excited to experience PRISM at Midsumma Festival

Photography by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea. Image by Manouri Peiris

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Rainbow families are excited to experience PRISM at Midsumma Festival

Diverse families rarely see themselves reflected in books, TV, advertising or on stage, until now. Midsumma is proud to announce that we have attracted federal project funding from the Australia Council for the Arts for an exciting new signature project, PRISM, in development this year for the 2021 Midsumma Festival.

The core of this program is a partnership with ArtPlay, one of the leading arts venues for children aged 0-12 supported by City of Melbourne. Starting as an initial conversation around one work The Rainbow Tree by Sarah Ward and Bec Mathews, the extended PRISM program is being curated and commissioned by Midsumma to provide increased diverse content for children that currently have very little specific engagement that reflects their family’s experiences. This project aims to build a strong foundation to cultivate significant cross-artform development for diverse rainbow families, upskill artists & expand the diversity of arts practice well into the future.

Midsumma will play a leadership role in developing high-quality arts experiences for children & diverse families with PRISM; a central signature program which will build on the creative development with local and international artists over the next few months, and already including three artistic components:

  1. The Rainbow Tree- an immersive moving picture book and music work for children, commissioned by Artplay and Midsumma. Created by Sarah Ward (Queer Cabaret Performer - Yana Alana), Bec Matthews (Queer and Gender diverse music maker - Circus Oz & Fruit Fly Circus), Jolyon James (Video artist – Arena Theatre Company), Kirri Dangerfield (Auslan Interpreter and Translator) and rainbow families across Melbourne and Regional Victoria. Developed in collaboration with children from rainbow families. This theatre show shares personal and imaged stories around the idea of family, those you’re born into and those you find. Exploring themes around belonging, connection and community through song, live music and projection art. Accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people and their families.
  2. Award-winning queer collective Gold Satino will further develop and present their work This is Grayson having received overwhelming positive feedback for the initial showing and an approach from IMAGINATE Children’s Festival. The immersive performance takes place on a bus, taking the audience on a journey of site-specific performance work designed for children aged 9-12 and their adults. The piece will be designed to be reworked for each new tour location, giving birth to an entirely unique experience each season.
  3. Award winning queer troupe PO PO MO CO will create a new theatre/comedy work for children by reimagining the new craze of Drag Story Time. The artists will be work over 4 months to enhance their practice with children; and develop the new work merging theatre, dance, puppetry and drag.

In recent years Midsumma has repositioned itself as a globally relevant cultural influencer with artistic and thought leadership, learning and diversity at its heart. Building upon Midsumma’s role as a leadership organisation in the development of queer arts and culture development nationally, Midsumma will take a major role in commissioning and producing a suite of events focused on the creation and presentation of works by LGBTQIA+ artists for diverse LGBTQIA+ families.

The PRISM program has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


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