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Future secured for Art Gallery of South Australia's dynamic teen program
Renewed support from The Balnaves Foundation brings their total investment in the Gallery to over $2 million. Photo: Meaghan Coles.

ADELAIDE.- The Art Gallery of South Australia has announced renewed support for Neo from Program Partner, The Balnaves Foundation. Securing the program’s future until 2021, the recent funding has placed The Balnaves Foundation’s total investment in the Gallery at over $2 million.

Art Gallery of South Australia Co-acting Directors, Lisa Slade and Mark Horton say, ‘We are thrilled to continue our teen-focused program which enables art-lead learning, engagement and experiences for our younger audiences - the next generation of artists and thinkers, thanks to the generosity of The Balnaves Foundation. This program is the first of its kind for the Gallery and one of the few offerings for teens in South Australia ’

Through their investments in the Gallery, The Balnaves Foundation have instilled confidence and encouragement in philanthropy and giving. The Neo program is only part of their overall support for the Gallery; in 2018 The Balnaves Foundation retained their status for the fourth consecutive iteration as Principal Donor for the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and have been involved in the Gallery’s family and youth focussed programs since 2009.

Neil Balnaves, Founder, The Balnaves Foundation says ‘The Balnaves Foundation is committed to investing in programs that bring young people from diverse ages and backgrounds into the Arts in creative ways.

Neo has grown from strength to strength. We hope our continued support encourages even greater participation and builds on previous years to inspire a whole generation of young people living in South Australia who are connected to the Arts and creativity.’

Now in its third year, Neo has presented 15 free teen-exclusive events since its inception. Neo maintains its focus on peer-lead learning, programmed in collaboration with the Neo Advisory Committee - a 27 strong membership of teens who also assist in the delivery of each event.

The events take the format of exclusive, free after-hours access to the Gallery, activities, performances and workshops led by artists and arts professionals. Through the bi-monthly events, including the annual ‘Teen Takeover’, Neo generates city-wide engagement, bringing together leading arts organisations such as the State Theatre Company, Australian Dance Theatre Youth Ensemble, Carclew and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

Grown to include six events across the calendar year, the next event, Neo: 21st Century Curiosity, will be held on the night of Saturday 15 September. In response to the social commentary of current photography displays Tracey Moffatt: Body Remembers and Diane Arbus: American Portraits, the event will explore inclusion, diversity and identity through a host of interactive workshops, performances and entertainment.

During the event, teens can explore the process of image-making on both sides of the camera with a photography workshop lead by Adelaide multidisciplinary artist and photographer Dave Court and try their hand at portraiture across different mediums with workshops lead by local emerging artists Grace Mitchell and Gemma Brook.

Spoken-word will also be a focus at Neo: 21st Century Curiosity. Following her ground-breaking TED Talk performance, teen spoken-word superstar Audrey Mason-Hyde will be performing on the night, as well as dynamic acts by The They Them Collective who will be combining spoken-word with visual art, and local duo Charlie + Sophie who will explore issues of what it means to be a teenager through an experimental performance merging spoken-word and music. Neo-favourite Epic DJ Dance Party returns and 16-year-old Hudson Adair will wow crowds with his eclectic techno sounds using synthesisers, drum machines and a computer as he composes live on stage.

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