Let’s Take Over is a skills development program where 10 disadvantaged 15–25 year old’s learn how to be arts programmers and producers. It is run by Darebin City Council, and is key note event as part of the award winning Darebin Arts Speakeasy season. The 10 participants are selected to represent a diversity of art forms, cultural experiences, gender identification and ages; and receive training over a 16-week period.
Each week an industry expert runs a workshop on a different topic, such as programming, access and inclusion, marketing, budgeting and production logistics. The program culminates in the 10 young artists ‘taking over’ the Northcote Town Hall, programming the entire building resulting in a 4 hour arts event. Each participant leads the delivery of their project as well as the event as a whole.
In September 2020, the next round of participants will be selected to begin the 2020/21 program.
In its third year, Let’s Take Over will build upon the engagement with young people and continue to create pathways for those who experience barriers to participation in the arts and creative careers. Let’s Take Over fosters a diversity of future artistic leaders across cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, practices and gender identities. This program builds creative careers for those wouldn’t have had them otherwise, ensuring that our artistic leaders represent the diverse community we live in.
These types of programs for young people are few and far between, despite evident demand. Applications have more than tripled in the last two iterations, from 19 applications in the first year, to 64 in the second. In 2019, one of the participants commuted weekly from Warragul. In 2020, a participant commuted from Deniliquin. Pathways with the depth of engagement for young people like Let’s Take Over simply do not exist. Let’s Take Over is youth designed and youth deliverd.
Let’s Take Over is led by Facilitator, Dr. Sarah Austin, who has had over 10 years’ experience and a PhD working with young people in creative processes. Sarah is joined by Samantha Butterworth, the families programmer in Arts Programming at Darebin and Cassandra Fumi as Production Manager who has a long history of technically managing projects involving young people.
There are 10 participants in the program who are selected in September 2020 and in turn engage 50-90 artists and present to over 500 audience members. The participants are selected to ensure that ideas across artistic disciplines are generated and there is a rich collaborative potential among participants.
Support for this project will foster diverse leaders in our creative sector.