YANAYA creates new opportunities for local community

YANAYA creates new opportunities for local community

Young people across the region will be participating in a new community arts project that will bring together rhyme, rythym and language through a series of workshops and performances at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).

The YANAYA (Returning) project is a collaboration between leading artist, songwriter and musician David Leha working in collaboration with members of the local Aboriginal community  and is being presented through a new partnership between Beyond Empathy and the New England Regional Art Museum.

“I am honoured to be working with NERAM and the community,” said David Leha. ” These workshops at NERAM are aimed at providing opportunity to local artists using skills in spoken word. There is a focus on indigenous language, confidence and delivery. Whether your a poet, Spoken word artists or singer songwriter, I hope to see you there and help you with your craft”.

David Leha is from the Kamilaroi nation of Australia and the South Pacific nation of Tonga. He performs regularly as Radical Son and released the album Cause ‘N Affect in 2014. He has worked with Opera Australia, Archie Roach and the Sydney Festival and regularly conducts workshops with Beyond Empathy, Community Prophets and the Jimmy Little Foundation.

“David Leha will be mentoring a group of young artists from the local community  who will then present a series of monthly spoken word workshops at NERAM, each of which will culminate in a performance for their friends and families,” said Robert Heather, Art Museum Director. “The aim is that the whole series will create a body of work which will then be performed as part of the program of the 2017 Black Gully Festival.”

“These two hour workshops will explore rhyme, rhythm and language through a mix of hip-hop, rap, music and poetry leading participants to create new performance pieces,” he said. “We see this as a great opportunity for young people from the local Aboriginal and white communities to work together to create new songs and poems, while learning more about NERAM.”

The workshops and performances will be a key outcome of the three year long YANAYA mentoring project by Beyond Empathy which has been taking place in Tamworth, Armidale and Moree with Gomeroi and Unniwan musicians, storytellers and their families.

YANAYA (Returning) is an artist-led, music and language revitalisation/performance project that activates relationships between people, families and communities and embraces a deep analysis that language enables through music and song, “ said Kim McConville, Executive Director of Beyond Empathy. “ Through revitalizing family songs and composing new songs we will activate new stories and language.”

“David Leha has been mentored by a linguist and three outstanding arts professionals, he in turn will mentor ten emerging artists  and musicians from the Gomeroi and Unniwan nations and others.”

For further details and to book a place in a workshop and performances visit the NERAM website.

Image above: David Leha at New England Regional Art Museum


Presented in partnership with Beyond Empathy





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