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Young visitors enjoying Slow Art Collective's work Malarky 2013
Media Release • 11 Dec 13

National Gallery of Victoria announces inaugural Children’s Festival

Kids will be honourary guests at the National Gallery of Victoria’s first-ever Children’s Festival. The Festival, running over nine days from 18-26 January 2014, will invite special engagement from kids and families through a range of inspiring programs involving Melbourne Now artists, designers and performers.


Hands-on workshops led by some of Melbourne’s most talented practitioners from the worlds of fashion, jewellery and shoemaking will offer a rich fiesta of creative activity.  


Children will be invited on tours to ‘dance the art’, become Melbourne Now artists by submitting their own works to a dedicated exhibition, take part in a ping pong tournament or watch special music, theatre and dance performances by artists including the Australian Youth Choir. The Children’s Festival is the largest event ever put on by the NGV for kids and families; and everyone’s invited!


Running from 18–26 January 2014, the performances, tours and workshops have been designed to encourage engagement and participation with contemporary art. Visitors will be able to meet, talk, and work with the artists and designers involved in Melbourne Now, enjoy a picnic and relax in the NGV Garden and hear music and stories in Community Hall, among a host of other programs.


Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said the initiative formed part of the NGV’s vision to become an international leader in children’s programming through accessible and innovative projects.


“The Children’s Festival will further enrich our offerings for children and families though programming that encourages discovery, curiosity and creative engagement.


“We are pleased to announce too that this Festival will become a permanent fixture in our summer calendar, offering children and families a new way of interacting with art and the wealth of creative practice that is on offer today,” said Mr Ellwood.


The 2014 Children’s Festival will be focused upon Melbourne Now, the NGV’s largest exhibition to date. Assembling over 175 outstanding commissions, acquired and loaned works and installations, Melbourne Now explores the idea that a city is significantly shaped by the artists, designers and architects who live and work in its midst. It reflects the complexity of Melbourne and its unique and dynamic cultural identity, considering a diverse range of creative practice as well as the cross-disciplinary work occurring in Melbourne today.


The Children’s Festival is generously supported by Melbourne Now Champions the Dewhurst Family, the Truby & Florence Williams Charitable Trust and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.


Melbourne Now is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International until 23 March 2014. 10am – 5pm. Free entry.


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