Arts and Audience “We belong together”

It is the future move and building the new generation leader in arts and culture sector.
Sokny Onn (Cambodia)

“The young audiences and society play such important role for the Arts and Culture “ and “The Arts and Culture play such important role for the young audiences and society”

I used to join other network and festival with my pass experience. The feeling of connection from my past experience it different from this time.  The ricca ricca*festa (Official Name: International Theater Festival OKINAWA for Young Audiences) and Asian Theater for Yong Audiences (Asian TYA) are really relevant to South East Asia.

The Asian TYA Network hosted the network meeting and the festival there similar culture revenant of Asian content. It is surprising Asian countries we have a lot to share and to learn from each other related with Theater for young audiences.

It is also quite contrast Asia country like Japan- Okinawa  really advance in the Theater for young Audiences in none verbal form. Which is Cambodia is not even think about this idea yet. But what exciting me is because Epic Arts theater works is none verbal Theater that most of the performers in the team are deaf. We performance for general public audience in all ages. But not yet specific produce work jut for young audience yet. Which is something add up to my passion and looking opportunity to develop and share this more to younger audiences.

The Asian TYA Network meeting format it is really down in ground. We start with play and eat childhood food and culture game. We tell each other our stories, experiences, responsible in our work , communities and our country. We laughing, we sharing and hear each other concern and hope. We learn the best practices and history of ricca ricca festival.

The history of this festival is really interesting. It was the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa and the festival declared that it is ‘a festival which seeks for peace with children’. ricca ricca*festa is International Theater Festival OKINAWA for Young Audiences first took place in 1994, organised jointly in several towns in the middle of Okinawa, as the very first international performing arts festival for families in Asia.

For my perspective it is such great role module festival history. That is political reason could turn to be such great impact festival and bring the peace through arts to children and their family. Especially the people who make that happen are authority people, policy makers, artist and the producers. It is such smart way that the founder choose arts as the plat form to deal with conflict in the peaceful. If you want to know more about the festival please go this link

What is inspiring me both Asian TYA Network and the ricca ricca*festa are 

Every show I went there are always full house audiences waiting for the show. There were 95% of local people are audience. Who are young audiences and their family. It is really rare in my country at the moment.

All the show aim to make friendly and accessible for young audience and family. From my perspective it is really accessible for all age’s audience plus for people with people who have hearing impairment and anybody who don’t speak native langue. The venue in the local markets, church and other culture places. The venue itself already connected local people.

There are difference type of show. They are entertainment, Education, Fun as well as challenging show. I am also note that all most all shows always find the way to connecting to audience by using culture games.

The TYA meeting is relaxing network. It is informal friendly but discussed such important subjects for the arts and culture. The way that network form is create such close relationship for all participants.

Personal view reflecting on festival and Asian TYA Network 

  • The show at ricca ricca*festa Festival:

Although 70% of the show are really accessible for young audiences, but there are 30% of the show not should able / too challenging for young audiences.

That would wonderful if each post-show event make more engage with young audience and their family.

It is surprising that I don’t see much young audience with disability come to see the show. That would be interesting if the next festival could explore to reach young audience with disability taking part of the festival. The young audience with disability could bring more value to Festival its self.

  • Asian TYA Network

The program for TYA are really useful. Everyone have chance to share their best practices, challenging and share the practical act based on difference subject related with arts sector. One thing I note we ask each other a lot about how the government funding structure back to our country. Even though we are from south East Asian but the culture of our government working is some time totally difference.  That would great if next TYA considering this topic as part of TYA agenda.

Policy maker and government arms link networking across South East Asia. Some time, Arts and culture work it need strong networking with government and policy maker, but it not easy to build relationship in some country. Because of  the system, working structure and the culture. If TYA member or organizers have strong key contact person across the regime could share within the network that would be a great resources to have.

Asian TYA network is really important for South East Asia Country. I am aware of the situation of the funding, but I hope programme organizer and members could will find the way to continue. Because there are still a lot country in South East Asia need this amazing remodel network and Festival.

What I will take away

ricca ricca*festa and Asian TYA Network really inspiring me to think more and more about create dance / theatre for young audiences. Ricca ricca festival has such smart strategy and insightful thought, that bring Arts to young audience from every young age. It is the future move and building the new generation leader in arts and culture sector.

I was really inspired by this idea and model. I want to make this event happen in my country within the capacity. Make it inclusive way for young audiences with and without disabilities and their family. The event aim to promote social inclusion through the arts beyond epic arts value and personal believed. Read more about Epic Arts work through this website

I am strongly believed that arts is play such important role for children with and without disabilities education and their development. The arts is the open door tools for ideas, thought, creativities, imagination, peace, our voice and the food of mind for all human kind.

Asian TYA Network
Sokny Onn
Epic Arts Organization

Country Director