Dulwich College, Singapore became an ISTA Global Partner school in 2019. The major focus of our partnership was the creation of a cross-arts festival. ISTA has worked with Kat Hegarty and Corin James for many years, across a number of schools and when they both connected with us to propose the idea of a cross-arts festival we jumped at the opportunity to be involved.
Part of ISTA’s strategic framework is to explore ISTA experiences that go beyond theatre and include other art forms. It is our intention to keep, and keep developing our core theatre events and in addition, to pilot festivals, in this case, that take a cross-arts approach.
Kat, Corin and myself had a number of conversations in the initial stages. Conversations that focussed on the parameters, what we wanted to guard against, how this experience would benefit young people in today’s world as well as what the implications would be for scheduling, artist’s work, logistics and getting other schools on board.
We then invited Dinos Aristidou to create a road map for us. Conversations followed with more fine tuning. A section from the festival proposal is included below:
‘Young people engaging with [such] processes are encouraged to be creative, innovative and open to working in new and different ways. By gaining an understanding of other forms of art they are also more open to collaboration, understanding how other artists work and approach creation.
Following this cross-arts, immersive festival, young artists will be richer for their experience, not only with a better understanding of another art form, of cross-arts activity and of collaboration but also with a better understanding of their own specialist form of art and its possibilities.’
The festival was scheduled to take place last month (March 2021) and due to COViD was postponed. We remain excited about the possibility of this festival taking place at some point in the near future, the opportunity for DCS to continue to place itself at the forefront of international arts education and for ISTA to work wholeheartedly on a pilot project that will have far reaching implications on our experiences and our offerings as an international arts organisation.
This cross-arts festival gives students the opportunity to:
- learn more about their own specialist arts subject and how they create art;
- engage with work produced by other forms of art;
- experience and learn about another form of art;
- create in collaboration with other forms of art;
- recognise and work with different collaborative processes;
- develop interdisciplinary and inter arts experience;
- develop open-mindedness;
- develop the creative curiosity that leads to innovation.
The festival follows five experiential stages:
1. Responding to a starting point through your own specialist art form.
2. Being inspired by and interacting with other art forms.
3. Experiencing unfamiliar art forms.
4. Collaborating with other artists from different art forms.
5. Presenting collaborative creations to an audience.
Each of these stages is underpinned by collective arts reflection.
- Performing arts (incorporating art forms of Music, Dance, Theatre).
- Visual arts (incorporating art forms of 2D and 3D Art, Design and construction, Film and Media).
- Technical arts (Lights, Projection, Sound, VR).
Watch this space for announcements and updates as we continue this ‘cross-arts’ story.
Take a look at Dulwich’s last ISTA festival Genderspeak hosted in March 2019.