APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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To Our APATA Community!

Posted by Team APATA | Mar 26, 2020

We wanted to take this opportunity to speak to our members. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 health crisis is having a far-reaching impact on the world as we know it, including right across Australia.

As you would expect many in the arts, event and entertainment industry has been heavily affected and while everyone is working very hard behind the scenes to pull together and to ensure support for freelancers, contractors and the community as a whole, these are very challenging times for everyone.

As shut down and social distancing continues our schools and performing arts communities will also heavily feel the impact as classes, workshops, practice and competitions will be unable to proceed. Over the past few weeks, we’ve watched in Australia festivals and performances cancelled as well as all the way across the oceans to the shutdown of Broadway – a symbol of New York resilience during the most uncertain times.

The adage is synonymous with Broadway itself: the show must go on. For decades, through wars and recessions and all forms of darkness, Broadway, the heart of America’s theatre industry and an economic lifeblood for many artists, has kept its curtains up and its footlights on. But last Thursday, facing a widening COVID-19 pandemic and new limitations on large gatherings, the industry said it was suspending all plays and musicals for 32 days, effective immediately.

At home, whether it be your local theatre company or a theatre powerhouse such as the Sydney Opera House it has been a surreal and unnerving experience to witness shut down and the lights go out.

We know in a time of uncertainty Australian’s have a long history of helping each other in tough times and we want to stress that this time should be no different. As the situation is evolving day-by-day it has been truly remarkable to watch people across the world separated in their communities through isolation turn to music and song to hold close that sense of connection with each other from balcony to balcony.

The most important thing for all of us right now is put our people and communities first, and to remain compassionate and listen to the advice of health authorities. Look out for your neighbours and colleagues who may not be as well-resourced as you and look out for our performing arts community who will need our support when life starts to return to some sense of normal.

Importantly we’re here for you, thinking of you and incredible proud of our industry and community in the performing arts as we all work together through time of uncertainty and immense challenge.

In the words of Charles Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ but regardless of the uncertainty and challenges we’re all currently facing as a community it’s now more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the work of our teachers and educators.

Teachers serve the country’s future generations, but they are people first working through the closure of their schools, programs, workshops, competitions and classes. Teachers are also mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, daughters and sons concerned for family and friends in the community just like everyone else.

People have always been at the heart of what we do and our community – students, parents, staff, performers, artists, production, crew, and of course our audience – all play an essential role in making art happen.

It’s been inspiring to watch teachers and students this week take on the virtual world holding classes online and keeping us all inspired, motivated and doing what we love!

Stay connected and motviated but most of all take care!


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