Help to shape region’s arts culture

February 12, 2024 BY

Grand stage: The Royal South Street Society's showcase event, which highlights major prize winners and outstanding performances, will be back for 2024. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIRST taking place in 1891, the Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod may still be a few years away from its next major milestone.

However 2024 will see the centenaries of some popular performance sections marked on stage.

The Herald Sun Aria and the Calisthenics Graceful Solo are both 100 years old this year and there’s special celebrations planned for them both.

“We’ll also have the return to our showcase event, which highlights our major prize winners and outstanding performances throughout the year,” said RSSS business and marketing manager Judy-Ann Quilliam.

But it’s not just performing artists that make the competition shine, with board and committee members, and sponsors, being sought ahead of the next eisteddfod.

“We’re searching for people with HR, marketing, business management, education or performing arts management backgrounds,” Ms Quilliam said.

“They can have influence over new disciplines being introduced, and be involved in the governing, regulatory requirements.”

Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod’s business and marketing manager Judy-Ann Quilliam is part of the RSSS’ new strategic planning team. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Following the pandemic, and long-term closures of Her Majesty’s Theatre due to upgrades, Ms Quilliam said RSSS has a new strategic plan, aiming to grow the major event.

“Our priorities are the new board members,” she said. “We’re seeking new sponsors and supporters to get on board with our whole plan as well.

“Performing arts is one of the real strengths of the culture of our region, and new board members and sponsors will be contributing to supporting performing arts.

“They can expand on the diversity and cultural fabric of our region.”

Entries for most sections open on Friday 1 March, with the comp running from June to October.

Ms Quilliam encourages young people to chat with their teachers, and arts teachers to speak with their students, about the performance opportunities available in the eisteddfod, from band and choir sections to speech and drama.

“Young people looking for their niche and their space often find it in the performing arts,” she said.