10 February 2023

World-class creative industry training comes to Riverina

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Leeton’s burgeoning Roxy Institute of Performing Arts has announced a collaboration with the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), called NIDA CONNECT. Photo: Evgeniy Shkolenko.

A Leeton art institute has been selected to partner with Australia’s leading centre for education and training in the performing arts.

On behalf of Leeton Shire Council, the Roxy Institute of Performing Arts (RIPA) announced the collaboration with the National Institute of Dramatic Arts’ (NIDA) regional program – NIDA CONNECT.

NIDA CONNECT is a national program designed for and dedicated to outer metropolitan and regional communities across Australia and provides a wide range of creative opportunities across live and digital storytelling.

NIDA CONNECT will provide access to world-class creative industry training for local teaching artists and aspiring young people – regional students aged 15 to 18 looking to train in acting, writing, design and technical production.

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Roxy redevelopment director Katherine Herrmann said the new partnership between RIPA and NIDA was an extremely important investment for the future of the redeveloped Roxy Theatre, and Leeton Shire.

“Mobilising teaching artists and have them pass valuable skills and knowledge onto the next generation over the next few months will mean a new crop of local and regional performers and technicians will be ready to participate fully in the opening events,” Ms Herrmann said.

“It’s really exciting,” she said.

Leeton Shire Council said the major redevelopment taking place at Roxy would see expanded space that would help to deliver everything the art institute did before and more.

Photo: Roxy Institute of Performing Arts.

RIPA aims to serve as a regional centre for artistic excellence in the performing arts with a strong focus on youth.

RIPA and NIDA CONNECT will deliver four courses: Acting for Performance, Writing for Performance, Design for Performance and Technical Production.

RIPA artistic director Jake Speer said the Train the Trainer program received an outstanding number of high-quality submissions from a wide range of creative disciplines.

He said NIDA noted the significant presence of highly skilled and passionate performing arts enthusiasts in the Riverina region.

“Making the selection was difficult but in the end four teaching artists were selected by NIDA and RIPA to deliver the NIDA-developed courses,” Mr Speer said.

Photo: NIDA.

“They will cover four performing and creative arts disciplines and build fundamental performance and technical skills through practical workshops.”

Mr Speer added, “RIPA is excited to partner with one of Australia’s leading performing arts institutes and bring extraordinary opportunities in artistic development to our region.”

The teaching artists for NIDA CONNECT are Cassandra Wynan (Acting for Performance), Oumi Karenga-Hewitt (Writing for Performance), Cynthia Arel (Design for Performance) and Sam Webber (Technical Production).

Mr Webber said NIDA CONNECT gave young people in regional areas opportunities to explore career options in performing arts that they might not otherwise have had access to.

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Ms Arel said she was looking forward to helping the local young creatives gain skills that would allow them to develop their ideas into set designs for the stage.

Leeton Shire Council Cultural Portfolio Lead Councillor Michael Kid was also excited about the new partnership.

“NIDA CONNECT represents the start of many great things that will boost what happens at the Roxy over decades to come and as a community, we sincerely thank the Commonwealth for their commitment and investment in the arts in regional Australia,” Cr Kidd said.

“The NIDA CONNECT courses are free and are due to be delivered from April 2023 with enrolments now open for 15- to 18-year-olds from Leeton and surrounds.

Click here to secure a place for NIDA CONNECT.

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