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Media Release • 28 Dec 23

NGV Kids Summer Festival 2024: Dive into a week of free family activities

Kids and families can explore the wonders of the ocean at the NGV Kids Summer Festival returning this school holidays for a week of FREE performances, yoga, dance, artist-led workshops and art-making activities inspired by the immersive underwater exhibition, RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids.

Taking place at NGV International from 8 – 14 January, RIFIFI is the centrepiece of this year’s festival, created by French artist Jean Jullien. In the exhibition, young visitors can dress in fish costumes, discover an interactive ocean scenography in the artist’s bold, illustrative style, and draw sea creatures inspired by the surrounding murals of fish, dolphins, stingrays, and more. RIFIFI is the largest and most ambitious children’s exhibition the NGV has ever staged and is inspired by Jullien’s childhood trips to the beach and a passion for caring for the marine environment.

During the NGV Kids Summer Festival, ocean-inspired workshops in the Great Hall include a Baby Shark Dance Party with easy-to-follow dance moves; storytelling and yoga sessions with ocean-inspired yoga flows including the ‘downward dolphin’; plus a workshop called Shake your fins! where kids can enjoy dancing and games presented by Emotion21, an innovative dance and fitness program for children and young adults with Down syndrome.

Artist-led workshops give children an opportunity to discover their creative flair and take home their own art. Thai artist Bundit Puangthong introduces kids to a mythical character Macchanu who is half-fish and half-monkey. Families can join Puangthong’s puppet making workshop to create their own version of Macchanu in vibrant colours and patterns.

For the Kids Summer Festival, Melbourne artist Ella Dunn has created a beach scene reflecting on fond memories growing up by the sea. Children can transform the scene using watercolour pencils to add swimmers, surf boards, beach umbrellas, and more.

A traditional Indian Bharathanatyam dance workshop led by the Artistic Director of Chandralaya Dance School, Deepa Mani, guides families through a lively routine featuring expressive gestures and animated facial expressions that emulate the fluidity of the ocean.

The importance of creative storytelling is highlighted through Afrodance and Storytelling, a workshop presented by Gracieuse Amah of Kwabo Events, taking young visitors on a journey to discover African dance styles, upbeat Francophile African music and animals from the continent.

Kids can learn about local wildlife and waterways from City of Melbourne Park Rangers who care for the parks and gardens around the city. The Park Rangers will share facts and activities about the animals that live along Melbourne’s waterways including possums, rakali (water rat), lizards, kookaburras and swans.

Bubbles floating through the sky and beach-themed music will enliven the NGV Garden where families can enjoy the summer sun and an ice cream from a pop-up cart.

Relaxed Sessions take place on 11 and 13 January offering early access to the festival and RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids for visitors who would benefit from a quieter experience with fewer people and reduced sensory stimuli.

Minister for Creative Industries, Colin Books, said: ‘Proudly backed by the Allan Labor Government the NGV Kids Summer Festival is just one of the ways we’re making sure all Victorians have access to world-class creativity in their own backyard.

‘Come for a day or for the week – this jam-packed, totally free program is why NGV is Australia’s most popular gallery and a space for all ages.’

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘This year’s NGV Kids Summer Festival offers kids and families the opportunity to delve into the underwater world created by French artist Jean Jullien for the NGV Triennial and marvel in the wonders and creativity to be found in the ocean.’

NGV Kids Summer Festival runs 8 – 14 January 2024 and is FREE. The NGV warmly thanks City of Melbourne for their support of Kids Summer Festival 2024. The full festival program is available at the NGV website: www.ngv.vic.gov.au/kids-summer-festival/

RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids is presented as part of NGV Triennial, a free exhibition presenting the work of over 120 contemporary artists, designers and collectives from around the world, on display at NGV International until 7 April 2024.

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