The art of bringing culture to children


Jennifer Simpson of Hilton. Picture: Will Russell         d453246
Jennifer Simpson of Hilton. Picture: Will Russell         d453246

An advocate for the WA arts sector, Ms Simpson believes arts, culture and heritage needs to be felt and seen to truly appreciate it, especially for children.

But she said time issues could see children missing out.

“Parents are often time poor and so will choose arts and cultural activities for their children that aren’t particularly good or engaging, just mere entertainment,” she said.

“There is a lot of commercial entertainment out there for children that does not build their capacity; it’s all about getting them hooked on a character and selling merchandise.

“There are so many wonderful artists in WA and companies such as Spare Parts Puppet Theatre who offer a wealth of experiences for children and families that provide quality, and the opportunity for depth of engagement.”

The chief executive of AWESOME Arts, Ms Simpson has worked to give local children and their families the high quality art experience she believes they deserve.

“We want to seed and facilitate conversations between family members and as the name AWESOME suggests, the aim is to present a program that is unique, inspiring and participative,” she said.

“The AWESOME Festival presents a mix of shows, exhibitions, workshops and activities across all art forms that encourage our audience to think more broadly about the world, learn new skills and importantly, creatively express themselves.

“It is so healthy for a young person to be playing an instrument, drawing, writing etc, especially when the teenage years hit when they can feel isolated and very lonely.

“A creative pursuit can be a came changer when it comes to the choices they make as emerging adults.”

For her work in the arts sector, Ms Simpson has been named one of three finalists in the Arts and Culture category of the 2016 Western Australian of the Year awards alongside WA Chamber of Arts and Culture chair Warwick Hemsley and Fringe World Festival director Amber Hasler.

The winner will be announced on June 3.