Arts and music flourish at WA Youth Week thanks to Drug Aware YCulture Regional

Arts and music flourish at WA Youth Week thanks to Drug Aware YCulture Regional

Matthew Tomich

Young people throughout regional WA hosted a range of professional arts activities, festivals and workshops at WA Youth Week this past April, thanks to support from Drug Aware YCulture Regional.

Bruce Rock YouthFest

Bruce Rock youth learn how to program beats at the Bruce Rock Youth Fest workshops. Credit Tamara Ennor.

In the central Wheatbelt town of Bruce Rock, young project coordinators Tamara, 24, and Bruce, 15, worked with the Bruce Rock Community Resource Centre to host the second annual Drug Aware Bruce Rock YouthFest. The duo arranged for rappers Complete and Bitter Belief and DJ Dazahstah to travel to Bruce Rock and hold a workshop for kids aged 12 – 17. Under the guidance of the visiting mentors, participants learned how to make beats, write lyrics, mix live and freestyle, after which participants joined in on a matinee performance. Later in the evening, the visiting artists closed out the festival with a headline performance.

As with all Drug Aware YCulture Regional activities, the entire concept was driven by young people. Tamara and Bruce conceived of the idea, wrote the grant application, developed their budget and framed activities to promote the Drug Aware message.

Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth FestPinjarra youth learn graffiti techniques at the Street Chillz Youth Fest. Credit Josh Cowling.

Meanwhile in Pinjarra, Katie (13) and Charli (14) partnered with the Shire of Murray for the annual Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth Fest, a huge, multi-artform celebration featuring an urban art workshop, a virtual reality exhibition, 3D painting demonstrations and a BMX competition.

The event was a huge success, bringing in a larger audience than previous years and attracting new, young audiences who hadn’t previously interacted with the organisations involved in the festival. Already the duo are making plans for next year’s Street Chillz Youth Fest, adding stage for live music and expanding to the Dwellingup region.

Undalup Djeran Drug Aware Youth Event

Traditional dance demonstration at the Undalup Djeran Youth Event. Credit Double M Photography.

Further west in Busselton, Judannah (14) and Rachelle (12) teamed up with the Undalup Association for another edition of the Undulan Djeran Drug Aware Youth Event. The event encouraged cross-cultural interaction, community participation and cultural interaction through music, dance workshops and painting.

The young project coordinators were grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Indigenous culture, with Judannah saying the duo found themselves “understanding Cultural lore, and helping others understand the respect that comes with dealing with Aboriginal people… Having Culture at these youth festivals has shown there is a need for these workshops, as they are educational and help break down the barriers that still exists in our community.

“Both of us enjoyed being this years youth team leaders, as we were so excited at the end of the day, we could not stop smiling about how good a day it turned out to be.”

Got a great idea for your own regional arts project? Get in touch – Drug Aware YCulture Regional could fund your project up to $6,000.

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