In 2020, a report was commissioned to accompany the 10 year anniversary of the Empire Youth Arts initiatives housed at the Empire Theatres. The report provides significant insight and validation of the impact of Empire Youth Arts initiatives on the lives of emerging young regional theatre artists.
The report found that Empire Theatres is setting the standard for regional investment that champions and induces new, transformative theatre practice for young people.
The research found that Empire Youth Arts has created a regional youth arts identity, an ensemble community, and a unique culture-led teaching model that is imbedded in industry practice and creates a legacy for both the community and the participants involved.
This legacy is shown to build wellbeing and resilience, transferrable skills and a lifelong creative lifeline in the participants.
Recommendations to come out of the report include considerations for continued partnering locally across sectors and nationally within the youth arts industry, internal and external evaluation to help develop and promote the value of EYA and publishing opportunities for EYA script assets and further research/articles regarding pedagogical practice.
The research was launched on Friday 15th October 2021 at the opening night of the 18th IMPACT ensemble production – Off With Your Head.
The report gives Empire Theatres a base of evidence proving what was known anecdotally. This research will drive strategic program development of Empire Youth Arts and assist in securing ongoing financial and community support.
This report was collaboratively researched and written by Ari Palani, Assoc. Professor Janet McDonald (USQ) and Jeanette Wedmaier.