QPAC’s Clancestry: Full 2024 Program Released

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For a venue that hosts many flashy musical and other theatrical productions each and every year across its four theatres, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Clancestry programming is probably not the most exciting to some. However, since being founded in 2013, it has proven to be an important and profound component of the venue’s annual programming, serving as a celebration and acknowledgment of First Nations arts and culture – an opportunity for both established and emerging First Nations artists to share their stories with others. Set to commence from 30 July 2024, QPAC has unveiled their full program of events for this year’s festival.

The festival will officially open on Tuesday 30 July with First Gathering, a vibrant celebration of Brisbane’s First Nations cultures. This event, held at the South Bank Piazza, will honour the ancestors of the land through dance, song, and culture.

Clancestry Conversations will return to the Cremorne Theatre on Saturday 3 August, featuring two in-depth discussions on pressing First Nations issues. The morning session will explore the stories behind the new Torres Strait Island musical, Straight from the Strait, and the workers who built seven kilometres of the Mount Newman railway track in a single day in 1968. The afternoon session will highlight the work of Link-Up (Qld), which helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reconnect with their families and understand their identity.

The Cremorne Theatre will also host the Clancestry Creatives program on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 August, supporting First Nations artists and creatives. This program will feature Eat Slay Zombie by Alinta McGrady and Growing Back by SOLCHLD, culminating in a live reading and performance of the developing works.

The Mob Music stage returns from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 August, showcasing First Nations musicians and artists, hosted by BENNYGOLD. The line-up includes Kootsie Don, Selve, and Kristel West on Thursday; Rudy Matoy, Velvet Trip, and The Terrifying Lows on Friday; and JK-47, Miss Kaninna, Kaiit, and Djanaba on Saturday.

Clancestry for Kids, a free event on Saturday 3 August, will offer craft activities, face painting with Kaylah Coghill, and Hip Hop Dance Workshops with Georgie Baumann. Additionally, Weaving Workshops will be available, teaching participants different weaving techniques and sharing the storytelling of First Nations ancestors.

These program announcements are in addition to previously confirmed paid events for Clancestry 2024, including Warriors featuring Andrew Gurruwiwi Band, J-MILLA, Jungaji, and Radical Son — and the latest performance by Bangarra Dance Theatre with Horizon.

Some of these events will offered for free, such as First Gathering, Mob Music, Clancestry Creatives and Clancestry Kids – although some may require you to book a ticket for capacity considerations. The major productions such as Clancestry Warriors in the Concert Hall and Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Horizon in the Playhouse are paid ticketed events. For more information on the entire Clancestry program, including how to purchase or register for tickets, visit the official QPAC website.

Commenting on this announcement and welcoming Clancestry back to QPAC for its eleventh year and also the final year with him at the helm as Chief Executive, John Kotzas shared:

Clancestry acknowledges the rich cultural heritage of First Nations peoples and encourages communities to come together to celebrate, learn, and connect through all facets of the performing arts.

This much-loved event is an integral part of QPAC’s annual programming, and it continues the traditions of meeting, storytelling, dancing and connecting that have always taken place on this country, well before our building was here.

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch highlighted Clancestry as a signature event on the Queensland cultural calendar, sharing:

The Queensland Government is proud to invest in QPAC and Clancestry as an important platform for First Nations artists and organisations, supporting creative employment and growing opportunities for audiences to engage in the rich and ancient heritage of the First peoples in Queensland.

QPAC’s delivery of Clancestry supports the Queensland Government’s 10-year Creative Together strategy and highlights the significant opportunity of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a powerful celebration of First Nations arts and culture when Queensland takes to the global stage.

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