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The Opera House announces its biggest ever Creative Learning program for schools

Sydney – Thursday 25 November, 2021. The Sydney Opera House today revealed its largest ever Creative Learning program of enriching, curriculum-linked experiences for primary and secondary students. For the first time, the year-round program is expanding into the Opera House’s new Centre for Creativity – its first permanent, dedicated space for creativity. Students can engage with performances, workshops, tours and talks onsite, and access free digital learning experiences making the program accessible to schools, wherever they are.

Highlights of the 2022 Creative Learning program include:

  • 16 new workshops for primary and secondary students exploring the areas of First Nations, STEAM, sustainability and the built environment. The Bodies as Buildings workshop combines architecture and dance, fusing Utzon’s design principles with the mechanics of the human body. On Country, Warrang: Knowing Ourselves in Time and Place will expand students’ First Nations cultural knowledge and their own connection to country through yarning, drawing, and exploring objects. Dissecting Geometry features leading educator and maths superstar Eddie Woo.
  • Seven world-class performance seasons - primary students will enjoy Creation Creation by Windmill Theatre Company (Bluey’s Big Play); the world premiere of After the Flood, asking children to write letters to a post-climate-change future; What the Ocean Said, a multi-sensory storytime experience; and the world premiere of ARC from award-winning puppetry experts Erth.

    For secondary students, Tröll is a one-man show blending modern and mythic storytelling in the vein of Stranger Things, via Aotearoa’s Trick of the Light theatre company, and PYT Fairfield hit Dorr-e Dari features three Western Sydney Afghani artists tapping into a thousand-year tradition of Persian love poetry.
  • 22 digital experiences, including live digital talks with Minecraft YouTube sensation Eystreem, Australia’s only LEGO® Certified Professional Ryan “Brickman” McNaught, and beloved scientist Dr Karl for primary students; and for secondary students, two-time Ironman and bestselling author Turia Pitt and the Newcastle Knights’ Alex McKinnon come together to discuss resilience and mental health.
  • Sydney Opera House BUILD: a new flagship built environment program for secondary and tertiary students, enabled by the Ove Arup Foundation. Comprising a design challenge for secondary students, a creative lab for tertiary students, and a talks series for the general public, BUILD helps students develop the skills they need to help solve the problems of today and the future.
  • The Creative Leadership in Learning program delivered in schools over three-years features both professional creativity training and an artist-in-school residency, culminating with students performing at the Opera House in the annual AMPLIFIED festival. New one-day teacher professional learning sessions, Teaching Through Creativity will explore how to incorporate creativity in daily teaching for any subject specialty.
  • Leading educator and play advocate Pasi Sahlberg delivers three new talks that are part workshop and part interactive forum for everyone interested in the future of Australian education.

“Our biggest Creative Learning program to date builds on over 40 years of igniting imaginations through programs that intersect creativity and education, in a way that’s truly unique to the Opera House. Whether you’re custom-building a day out onsite at the Opera House, or accessing our inspiring offerings from beyond Greater Sydney through digital learning, the full program provides students the tools to engage with the issues of our time: from examining technology and the environment, highlighting the need for deep cultural understanding, or putting the art and architecture into STEAM, with the help of 368 artists and experts,” said Sydney Opera House Head of Children, Families and Creative Learning, Tamara Harrison.

“Research shows that creativity is vital for our future as it increases connection, resilience and wellbeing. Students will be inspired, challenged, surprised and delighted when they visit us onsite or online … we hope to set their creativity free and foster a lifelong connection to the arts that begins with memories made at the Opera House,” she said.

“I’m delighted by the Sydney Opera House’s commitment to creativity in teaching and learning. The Opera House is an incredible place, every child remembers the first time they visited the iconic building. It has the power to inspire and ignite curiosity, so it is only fitting that it is now home to the new Centre for Creativity," said NSW Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell.

"I look forward to seeing more than 300,000 students of all ages and abilities imagine, play and thrive – both from here in New South Wales and across the country through the smart-technology in the Centre for Creativity, which the NSW Government has proudly funded as part of the Decade of Renewal.” she said. 

The Sydney Opera House is committed to providing the best national and international performing arts experiences to NSW students through the Arts Assist program. The ticket and travel subsidy provides the full cost of a Creative Learning performance ticket and $5 per student toward travel costs. Schools may apply here.

Thank you to the NSW Government for enabling the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal; and our Centre for Creativity major donors: the Yarranabbe Foundation; Ove Arup Foundation; Turnbull Foundation; Boyarsky family; and The Greatorex Fund.

For media information, please contact:

Genvin In
Communications Coordinator
0449 939 864

Shelley Watters
Senior Communications Manager
0415 901 440