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Ballarat City Council

We collaborate with the Council in wild and wonderful ways to foster innovative art in our city.

In partnership with the City of Ballarat, we celebrate Ballarat's rich cultural heritage and its vibrant artistic future. Through diverse projects, we connect with our community to support its artistic aspirations.

Ballarat Heritage Weekend

We play a major role in Ballarat Heritage Weekend (BHW). BHW is a growing community festival that runs over the last week in May and attracts over to 16,000 visitors to Ballarat each year. In 2017, 180 students from the performing arts, visual arts and communication design programs were involved in producing a diverse range of free public performances, events and talks to celebrate our historic city. The Arts Academy creatively activated iconic Ballarat buildings, including the Ballarat Mechanics Institute (BMI), Her Majesty’s Theatre, and the old Post Office Building, bringing our history to vibrant life.

Heritage Weekend@The Arts Academy is a multi award-winning, transdisciplinary project. It directly engages the rich history and heritage of Ballarat and its surrounds. We ask undergraduate students from first-year undergraduate study to PhD research across diverse creative practices to participate, collaborate and celebrate  for BWH.

At its inception in 2013, first-year actors devised Living Heritage street performances in collaboration with Ballarat’s Public Art Program. Since then, the project has developed significant networks for all Arts Academy students with the City of Ballarat, its institutions and our wider community. An exciting and boldly innovative project, Heritage Weekend@The Arts Academy includes professional opportunities for our emerging-artist alumni, and provides current students and graduates with powerful experiences of working creatively in communities. This real-world opportunity incorporates work-integrated learning (WIL) that sets a model for artistic practice in the regions and provides pathways from education to employment.

The Spirit Level or The Strange Case of Agatha Banks

The Australian premiere of a new opera with music by Arts Academy lecturer Dr Richard Chew with libretto by Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre in London. Students from our renowned music theatre program performed in the glorious setting of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat. This production, created especially for BHW 2017, was directed by renowned writer and director Anthony Crowley. Read about performing arts study.

Exhibition: Board Game Geeks

Uncover the mysteries and meet the weirdos, spooks and cranks of Ballarat’s past in the exhibition, Board Game Geeks, created by our communication design students. Daily in the Hugh Williamson Foyer of the BMI, a series of exciting board games challenged participants to find their way out of a labyrinth of mining tunnels, playing the part of a crooked cop, solving murder mysteries, and  fighting off monsters and ghosts. Read about communication design study.

Rare Books and Mysterious Stories

Pop-up performances by FedUni Arts Academy actors in a rare theatrical experience of ‘Rare Books and Mysterious Stories’ in the BMI. Extraordinary stories of Ballarat’s past; her spirits and spooks, charlatans and hopeful monsters. Read about performing arts study.

Exhibition: ODDBOD – Mysteries in Motion

This was an interactive display in our iconic Post Office Building. Experience projected animations by FedUni Arts Academy students that responded to the mysterious oddities of our colourful Ballarat history. Read about visual arts study.

Live from the Music Hall Royale

A sing-a-long extravaganza! An interactive, audience-involved tribute to the music hall traditions upon which modern theatre is built. Combining audience participation with elements of slapstick and vaudevillian comedy, this one-hour show contained a range of songs from the music hall repertoire, chosen at random by the audience. These short comedic sketches and a thrilling, family friendly murder mystery were presented by a vibrant and energetic group of FedUni Arts Academy students and graduates. Read about performing arts study.

The Mystery of Captain Moonlite

This fun, family friendly musical adventure is centred on the true story of Captain Moonlite, a young bushranger who was the mastermind behind one of the only known escapes from Ballarat Gaol. Using original music inspired by Australian musicians from the region, the epic tale weaves together fiction and fact about the life of Captain Moonlite and is presented by FedUni Arts Academy graduates. Read about performing arts study.

Visit the Ballarat Heritage Weekend website

Paste-up project: B'You

Local artists Kat Barrand, MERDA and Karl Woodward teamed up with 13 youth participants to create a paste-up. Each came with a QR code that can be scanned with an app to receive more information about the artwork, the young artists involved and a map with other paste-up locations. We are proud to have one on our New North building, Camp Street Campus, in central Ballarat.

The Paste Up Project was part of the City of Ballarat B’You Youth Development's Unique Message Maker (UMM) Program, funded by the Victorian Government Engage! Program. UMM equips young people with the skills and tools to collaboratively work and create messages around concepts, ideas and issues that are important to them.

Backyard Tasters

The City of Ballarat’s Backyard Tasters explodes into our backyard every February. Alfred Deakin Place, Camp Street comes alive for a summer celebration with a feast of music, food and artistry.

In 2017, the Arts Academy’s own vocal starlets made a surprise appearance at Backyard Tasters. Directed by Dr Richard Chew, lecturer in singing, vocal project Word of Mouth transformed Alfred Deakin Place into an impromptu celebration of song with their signature pop-up performance.

Find out about what’s on now at our creative campuses.