The Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) theatre and circus companies recognise the youth theatre (including youth circus) organisations across the country contribute to nurturing arts audiences and arts professionals of tomorrow. They positively contribute to the health of the broader arts ecology and the communities in which they work.
The fragility of youth theatre has been an issue in the arts for some time. Now, with reduced arts funding, intensified competition for those funds and no specific organisational funds available for Youth Arts in 2016 the MPA theatre and circus companies are concerned that this will lead to further youth theatre closures.
Without a national youth theatre policy or strategy to underpin priorities in this area, the sector will continue to wane. There is a pressing need to coordinate a longer term vision that considers youth theatre companies’ capacity to develop arts skills and practice and recognises the value of the social impact that they make in both city and regional areas for many young people at a pivotal time in their lives.