Moresby Arts Theatre supporting youth in the arts in 2020 

This year, with funding from the Palladium Group, Kyeema supported the Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) Youth Arts Program. The program implemented by MAT in association with the University of Goroka aims to conserve the culture and heritage of Papua New Guineans through giving young people the opportunity to gain skills in the dramatic arts. Ultimately it hopes to imbue social confidence and self-awareness in this new generation.

Dr Jane Awi, Director of the Somare Research Centre at the University of Goroka. Photo credit: MAT 

Year 9 and 11 students from five different schools in Port Moresby participated in the 2020 program, which was delivered over a 6-week period with the Moresby Arts Theatre’s pioneering mentors who participated in YAP the year before (2019) and Dr Jane Awi and her theatre arts team from the Somare Research Centre at the University of Goroka. Students attended workshops designed to assist them in their understanding of social issues in PNG through physical and oral storytelling. Mentors worked with the students to deliver some outstanding performances in October that were judged by a panel of creative industry experts. The program was organised to ensure students and mentors interacted in a COVID-safe manner. The winning teams of each category will now have the opportunity to sharpen their dramatic skills in further training at the Moresby Arts Theatre in partnership with the University of Goroka once more.

Aida Hano, a year 11 student from Kundu International School, expressed how the YAP has impacted her and her fellow students:  

“It brings us out of our shells and helps us to grow. Especially in our confidence when we get into character”.

Several of the MAT mentors and UOG student teachers are doing an improvisation exercise. Photo credit: MAT.

We are proud to support this activity – helping the youth in Papua New Guinea to develop their critical and creative thinking. We look forward to watching how the program develops in 2021 and beyond.

Thanks to Palladium’s Communities Fund for supporting this activity.