One of the largest performing arts festivals returns to give Australians their moment in the spotlight

  • Over 35,000 participants from across Australia are set to embrace Sydney Eisteddfod as we transition out of COVID-19

  • The opportunity to perform in front of an audience with valuable critique from world-class adjudicators unlocks critical development opportunities for young performers

One of the largest performing arts festivals in Australia and New Zealand, Sydney Eisteddfod, is welcoming back young, aspiring artists to the stage after closing its doors in March 2020 for the first time since World War II due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant the compulsory cancellation of over 300 events, impacting 35,000 entrants.

Following a tough year for the performing arts industry with many students forced to practice their skills at home without professional guidance, Sydney Eisteddfod is committed to helping performers re-engage in the arts.

Piroozi Desai-Keane OAM, Chief Executive of Sydney Eisteddfod, said: “I’ve spoken to hundreds of parents and teachers during the pandemic with feedback that children’s confidence to perform has been knocked as a result of live event closures and face-to-face training being cancelled due to COVID-19.

Never before has performance been so important – we know how critical the arts are in developing confidence, a sense of community, peer-to-peer learning and resilience.

For performing arts in Australia to not only survive, but thrive we need to nurture and support the next generation of performers to nurture their talents by giving them the opportunity to stand in the spotlight, be judged by leading industry professionals and have fun in the process.

Peter Wright, Associate Professor of Arts Education and Research Methods at Murdoch University, said: “There is huge value in learning performing arts that goes far beyond a standing ovation.

Research suggests that engagement in performing arts can help children develop greater academic competency, improves cognitive and emotional skills like the ability to persevere, harness self-discipline and cooperation which are hugely important in personal life as well as in the workplace. Importantly, performance also cultivates a greater sense of belonging within a community. This has never been more critical than in a post-pandemic world.

The return of Sydney Eisteddfod is a welcome opportunity for children to contribute to society’s culture and acquire skills that can help them learn, grow and belong.

Entries for Sydney Eisteddfod 2021 are now open and will close on March 12, 2021. Aspiring performers have the chance to win over $400,000 worth of prizes and scholarships in over 300 performing arts events across dance, drama, music and song running from May to October with in-person and online entry mechanisms available.

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