APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

Hi There!

Posted by Yolande (Lou) Smith

The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association (APATA) is building to become Australia’s most influential community for teachers and educators working in the performing arts. Our vision is to be Australia’s leading body dedicated entirely to all disciplines in performance; As we know teachers, students, educators and industry practitioners are out there achieving amazing things.

So this is what APATA is all about!

We connect through our online member community, industry events, partnerships and national awards program. Whether your studio is located in regional Australia or city central we warmly welcome all members of our national community to participate, collaborate, connect, and inspire. APATA offers the opportunity to share your studio news and passion projects, profile your school and access industry information. As a member the opportunity exists to share your journey. We’d love to hear it!

We believe in sharing – ideas, knowledge, experience and skills!

APATA is about working within the performing arts industry across multiple disciplines. Whether you’re running your own studio, surrounded by others in your area of expertise, or just missing a sense of connection and support, APATA is all about contributing and providing tools to inspire.

Our industry is a collaboration of many that produce and present productions, a system of many experts coming together to align a vision and present to an audience. Much of our conversation is heavily focused on the major performing arts companies – but there’s so much more! Where does it begin? Who nurtures our creative talent? How do our cultural communities connect across the diverse fabric our country offers?

“With teachers of course – that’s how!”

Cultivating creativity starts with schools. Not every student will work in industry or achieve the accolades of a professional able to earn a living from their selected craft, although if they’re passionate enough they will find their home.

Schools do so much more, it is here that our future audiences are nurtured, passions for art-forms discovered and possibilities revealed. Throughout human history it’s the creatives, inventors, and innovators who have given to the world remarkable achievements often through perseverance but most definitely creative thinking.

Teachers build passionate audiences, develop confidence and skill, work with special needs students, entice community culture, guide students to fulfilling careers, and most of all teachers represent the very first group of individuals to introduce us to creativity and performance. It is here we grow and learn how to create.

I truly believe a strong and bountiful creative industry comes from the grass roots, that is, the teachers who run their own studio’s, work in schools, deliver workshops and lessons, produce industry productions, or work as academics – all nurture talents, passions, and aspirations. All performing arts teachers share their knowledge and lessons every day contributing to the creative fabric of our country. Teachers are the true founders of our performing arts industry!

APATA is a dynamic and progressive body for performing arts teachers and educators who work, practice, develop, nurture, and dedicate their life’s work to creating artistic and creative generations for today and tomorrow.

Membership captures all elements of the performing arts industry including dance, music, theatre, opera, comedy, circus, and culture through to those practitioners who develop our writers, designers, producers, directors, managers, administrators, and technical production experts. Where would the industry be without the wordsmiths weaving stories to share, designers bringing a story to life, administrators to support all that is creative and the magic of sound and light to assault our senses?

APATA is for teachers and educators developing the future of our industry whether in front or behind the curtain.

We also warmly welcome students to join the association to learn, develop, experience, share and see what others in the industry are doing, achieving and enjoying.

I’m sure we can all immediately call to mind that teacher or mentor – you know the one – that teacher that opened ‘stage door’ and gave us an opportunity to peer inside and view the world with new eyes…I certainly can!

Every day, APATA represents and supports our members to give them the connections and experiences needed to lead a bold charge in the performing arts by showcasing their work, talents, achievements and challenges. Teachers engage, influence and represent an incredible collective across our nation as creative practitioners and industry leaders.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but APATA carries a particular energy – its hard to touch, and even harder to explain, but its there to be found in every corner of our diverse and creative network. It’s that feeling you have when you enter a studio and watch students working, learning and collaborating. It’s that smell you can immediately identify be it leather dance shoes, stage make-up, show paint. Perhaps it’s the crunch of rosin under foot, turning of pages at a first reading or the roll of road cases. Whatever it is you know it!

Whoever you are and whatever your area of expertise, it’s my hope that you’ll embrace and experience all that we have to offer across our community leaving you wanting more, and that anything is possible – because I know it is. We all know we’re stronger together!

I look forward to connecting and hearing from you as we journey together to awaken the powers of performance and creativity.

Yolande (Lou) Smith

Founder & Managing Director

MMgmt (Arts & Culture) / MMgmt (Events & Tourism) / BA (Arts) / Cert.IV (Training & Assessment)


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