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Arts Meets S.T.E.M These School Holidays for Thrive on Arts

Art will join forces with science, technology, engineering, and maths (S.T.E.M) for The Empire's exciting 2023 family festival, Thrive on Arts.

Smiling mum with four children

Sponsored by C&K Childcare and Kindergarten, Thrive on Arts is an annual four-day festival celebrating play, imagination, creativity, and storytelling during the spring school holidays.

The Thrive on Arts program offers a mixture of free events and activities with affordable shows for children aged 0-12, including lawn games and a scavenger hunt, storytime under the magnolia tree, Trinket the Robot's puppet show, UniSQ's Lego Mindstorm robot display, craft activities and circus workshops.

Sprinkled throughout are performances such as hit children's theatre show, The Alphabet of Awesome Science, a screening of children's comedy film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, First Five Forever's reading of popular Australian picture book, Who Sank the Boat? accompanied by live musicians from Toowoomba Concert Orchestra and something for the older children with Roald Dahl's The Twits by shake and stir theatre co.

A festival highlight is String Symphony, a 5m high interactive light up puppet which will be installed on The Empire Lawn for the first three days of the festival.

Empire Program & Engagement Manager Jeanette Wedmaier said Thrive on Arts brings unique experiences to the community and is a perfect way to introduce the youngest members of the family to theatre.

We have put together a fantastic program of shows, workshops and experiences that will bring the artist out in everyone.

Jeanette Wedmaier - Program & Engagement Manager

"No great discovery is made without some creative thinking, so we think celebrating everything S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering and maths) through the arts is a great way to showcase what these two worlds can achieve together."

C&K CEO Dr Sandra Cheesman said they were proud to be associated with Thrive on Arts, believing in the importance of encouraging children to participate in the arts.

“One of C&K’s key philosophies is children learn through play, music, drama, and storytelling, and art are key components of that,” Dr Cheesman said.

“The Thrive on Arts festival provides wonderful opportunities for children and families to participate in a range of art activities, which is so vital to building children’s imagination, problem-solving, creativity, literacy, social development and cognitive skills.”

“C&K is focused on empowering children to become life-long learners, and we see participating in creative and imaginative activities as a key contributor to that.”

University of Southern Queensland Careers Education Manager William Wragg said UniSQ partners with community events like Thrive on Arts to provide learning opportunities that support individuals in realising their potential, expand their learning, and strengthen their decision-making. “Our Lego Mindstorm activity is a fun and engaging way for students to discover S.T.E.M skills and talents they are good at and enjoy,” Mr Wragg said. “This is one example of our tailored, taster-style sessions, designed by our academics to help students find skills they are good at and enjoy whilst identify a range of satisfying careers for their future.”

For more information or to book tickets to any Thrive on Arts workshop or performance, visit

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Empire Theatre