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RAW community engagement program – Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace and Save the Children Australia

Young people from inner Sydney will be given the space and tools to bring their art and music dreams to life as part of a new program to foster artistic talent.


Budding artists from Woolloomooloo and surrounding inner-city suburbs can benefit from a partnership between the Art Gallery of New South Wales, contemporary art gallery Artspace and child rights organisation Save the Children Australia, which is designed to provide youth with access to the resources of some of the world’s most prestigious art establishments.

The RAW program, which formally launched on February 16, aims to connect young people under 24 with practising artists and musicians to foster future artistic leaders.

The program is funded by the City of Sydney for the next two years and is led by contemporary artist Miranda Samuels from the Art Gallery of NSW, and musicians Mirrah Faye Parker and Nick Leighton – both Save the Children Australia youth program workers.

Ms Samuels said an important part of the program was bringing young people together with artists and musicians to exchange skills and knowledge, and experience the local area in a different way.

“The music and art that will be created though this program and presented in a virtual or physical gallery context will be directly influenced by Woolloomooloo itself – its location, histories, demographics and social aspects.”

Save the Children youth program workers, along with the City of Sydney youth team, have had a strong presence in Woolloomooloo since 2015.

Woolloomooloo is only moments from the CBD but young people face real challenges including lack of access to employment options and education facilities for young people.

RAW is open to all young people across different abilities, genders and cultural backgrounds who may already be artists or musicians, or who would like to explore making art and music using a combination of traditional methods and digital technology.

Teaming up with the Art Gallery of New South Wales dedicated community engagement team and Artspace in Woolloomooloo will offer greater capacity for RAW to highlight and showcase life in Woolloomooloo from young people’s perspectives at internationally recognised arts institutions.

Lola Pinder from Artspace said the launch of RAW saw many young people from the area step confidently into the space and make it their own. “This is an exciting opportunity to connect these talented young people directly with practising artists and musicians and we look forward to seeing what they learn from each other,” Ms Pinder said.

The RAW program will be a space for ideas and to explore.

Though the program is led by experienced artists, it is equally a space that allows young people to expose their own projects and ideas to the public eye.

Over the next eight weeks RAW facilitators will support participants to build a showcase of work to reveal to the community at the local Woolloomooloo Youth Block Party on April 21.

“The support of community members in Woolloomooloo for the RAW program has been hugely encouraging for young people in the program,” Tom Waite, Save the Children Youth Development Team Leader, said. “Through the RAW program, young people will define their own space in the arts, transforming their knowledge and experiences of Woolloomooloo into art for the Sydney community and the art world.”



To learn more about the program visit  

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