La Trobe University is proud to present the third annual Department of Creative Arts and English end-of-year Festival celebrating the work of final year students from the Creative Writing, Theatre, Screen and Visual Arts programs.
At the beginning of semester planning began in earnest for the festival, the expectation that, unlike in 2020, this year it would be delivered in face-to-face venues across the University’s multiple campuses. After three weeks of semester this began to look less likely. In week 4 students were advised that the festival would need to move online. Plans for a weekend of theatre productions, an open-air cinema and immersive film experience, literary readings and exhibitions as conceived were halted. Like all of those involved in the arts over the last two years, we had to re-imagine what we would do and pivot towards the digital realm once again. To the credit of all the participating students they quickly moved, losing none of the enthusiasm and ambition demonstrated in the first few weeks of planning. And now we are here, another wonderful festival showcasing the creativity, intellect and positivity of our students.
I would like to thank my teaching colleague Blayne Welsh who has worked with the theatre students throughout semester. Likewise, to Dr Rob Conkie who has continued to contribute to the festival in many ways including supporting both Blayne and the theatre students. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of my colleagues in the Department of Creative Arts and English who have worked tirelessly with the students to think about and develop their work. They are not only educators, they are also peers and mentors, dedicated to nurturing the creativity of the next generation. I extend my thanks to all the discipline technicians who have helped students with solving problems and making equipment available. Particular thanks to Owen Dalton who again worked tirelessly with the theatre students ensuring that their productions are able to be shared in the digital realm. Thank you to Dr Catherine Padmore, our Head of Department, who has again steered us through a difficult year with good humour, positivity and never-ending support. Lastly, on behalf of the Department and the University I want to applaud and thank the students for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. Every aspect of this Festival has been developed and delivered by them, a true testament to their diligence and commitment. They have shown great care and respect for their colleagues and peers, evident in the wonderful program they have assembled.
In the first week of semester, I shared the following quote from the Italian particle physicist Guido Tonelli’s recent publication, Genesis: The Story of How Everything Began with the students.
Art, beauty, philosophy, religion, science, in a word culture, are on one level our magic tent – and we have needed it, desperately, since time immemorial.
This festival started out as an empty tent. It is now filled by the magic of the student’s creative works. We welcome you in to enjoy and to be reminded of the everlasting importance of the arts and creativity in our society.
Dr Vincent Alessi
Department of Creative Arts and English
La Trobe University