Image above shows a screen shot from a Zoom video meeting. 8 rectangles with one person in each rectangle are arranged in tiles covering the screen. Expect
Back in February this year we were rehearsing work to perform at Bendigo Easter Festival – and then everything changed.
The impact of COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of the Easter Festival and then to the cancellation of all of our face to face work. It has been a challenging time but we have done what we can to stay connected with each other. None of our work is cancelled for good or lost but there has been a big ‘pause’ button.
We have explored what we can do on line and we have had some fun with that. Perhaps there are things that we have learnt about working on line that will continue to shape what we do.
Nothing stays still for long and in this newsletter we have plenty of new things to share.
CreateAbility is now CreateA
A new name for our arts company
We have had the name ‘CreateAbility’ since we began back in 2002. It has served us well and it is time now to re-imagine who we are and what we stand for.
The name ‘CreateAbility’ was arrived at by the committee that helped guide our organisation early on. It was intended to reflect a raised expectation of what was possible for people with disability. Since that time disability awareness and disability culture has evolved and disability as a proud identity has gained prominence.
In the current context, language that obscures disability or appears to construct a euphemism for disability is seen as an avoidance of a strong disability identity. Examples of this include ‘differently abled’, ‘special abilities’ and ‘diverse abilities’.We have been challenged to think about the name CreateAbility and consider a reimagining of it that brings an awareness of its contemporary use.
The new name CreateA (pronounced ‘create – A’), keeps the focus on creativity, which is at the core of what we do. It has an open-ended sense of possibility, ‘create a … picture, create a … performance, create a … song’. We believe CreateA is a strong name for a strong company ready to take on any challenge.
(CreateA logo is shown at the top of this article. It has the word ‘create’ followed by an upside down V that can be read as an A or as a kind of arrow head)
Image above shows a gallery with paintings on a wall. In front of the paintings in the room a number of people are dancing with headphones on. In the foreground one woman dances wearing a black sweater and baseball cap with ‘Director’ written on it.
PhoneHeads in Horsham 2021
We are proud to announce that PhoneHeads will be the basis of a project with Art Matters in Horsham next year. Funding for the project PhoneHeads HorsHam was announced as part of Regional Arts Victoria’s grant round.
PhoneHeads was performed last year at Bendigo Art Gallery for International Day for People with Disability. It explores the ways we have come to use technology and devices both to interact with others and also to create our own private worlds. It is about messages – how we receive them and how we give them, with language and through our bodies.
Art Matters is an inclusive arts company working in Horsham (similar to ourselves) and we will be working together over the next year with the aim of presenting PhoneHeads in Horsham. Or experience in the time of COVID-19 will help us develop ways of working at a distance but with shared experiences and ‘virtual’ connections.
We are equally proud that PhoneHeads has been included in the shows being promoted by Showcase Victoria. Showcase is a theatre industry ‘marketplace’ where venues and presenters get to find out about performances that they may want to include in their programs. This is a great opportunity for us to get better known. If you want to check out our listing on Showcase, link to it here.
Image shows Choice Voices logo that includes a hand drawn duck with the words choice voices projecting from its beak
Choice Voices Choir – together even when we are apart
The choir may not be able to meet in person but members have still been able to keep up connections.
James Rigby has been running regular choir sessions via Facebook Live and Zoom. The Zoom meetings have been lively and it has been a great joy to join in on familiar songs while at home. There are plans to develop the format of these sessions and to provide other ways that members and others can share songs and share the experience of being part of a community of singers.
The choir will soon be launching a project called COVOICE-20 that brings snapshots of choir members and songs of the choir together in formats that allow us to share our experiences during this time. The choir was fortunate to gain funding from the City of Greater Bendigo to assist with this project. With the continued support of Golden City Support Services the choir is able to continue to function despite not being able run their usual rehearsals.
You are welcome to drop in on the choir during the Facebook Live sessions each Thursday at 5pm. You can see the live stream or see past sessions by visiting the facebook page here.
WorldFlip / Do You Dare Me To?
This project was interrupted by COVID-19. We had been preparing to present it at Bendigo Easter Festival this year when very suddenly all our activity had to stop. However, all is not lost!
Late last year we were approached by the Melbourne based physical theatre company, 5 Angry Men, with an idea to work with them to create a performance using their large rigging structure that allows aerial work. Their own show, The Bells, was programmed for Bendigo Easter Festival 2020 and they were keen for other groups, particularly inclusive groups, to use their equipment and expertise.
Z Fit Studios in Bendigo who run exercise classes and training in aerial skills (among other skills) joined the project as partners. This gave us access to space and equipment where we could develop and rehearse the work. Fleur Dean, a very experienced and skilled aerial performer, from 5 Angry Men (they are not all men and they’re not that angry) began a series of workshops with us early this year.
The project was initially titled Do You Dare Me To? After a few workshops where we started to see some beautiful and startling images we decided to call the work WorldFlip. It has been amazing to see what people experience when their feet leave the ground and a new experience of the world is possible.
We will continue to work on WorldFlip as we are able and we hope to present it at next year’s Easter Festival.