Our Backyard Circus Project was delivered as part of an arts residency through Arts Victoria’s Community Partnerships Program. Artist Debby Maziarz was hosted by Parks Victoria’s Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and worked in partnership with Balnarring Primary School, Somers School Camp and the Western Port Yacht Club to deliver a community arts project. The main aim of the project was to implement arts-based workshops and performance opportunities with the ‘backyard community’ in lead up to the inaugural Western Port Bay Awareness Week in December 2004. Western Port Bay Awareness Week, an initiative conceived by Coolart Wetlands and Homestead, aims to raise community awareness regarding conservation issues and bring the local community together to celebrate the surrounding environment and heritage. The project activities involved a circus, music, flag making and inflatable sculpture workshop program in lead up to a spectacular outdoor roving performance. The workshop program explored the theme of migration, focusing on both historic and contemporary stories of the local area. The performance itself was performed in and amongst the natural surrounds, which make up the ‘backyard community’. The project involved students and teachers from Balnarring Primary School, staff from Somers School Camp (a former migrant camp) and sailing members of the Western Port Yacht Club.

flags-2 shadow-ship crowd-from-high-2 formation-walk formation_2 from-the-window shadow-village long-formation tunnel-audience backyard-bird-flag-run Backyard-wave-to-boats

Artistic Director
Debby Maziarz
Elena Vereker
Circus Trainer / Director
Jodie Farrugia
Visual Artist
Mark Cuthbertson
Musician / Composer
Richard Cook
Costume Designer / Prop Maker
Franca Stadler