Creative Responders: in Conversation with Kate Sulan

Kate Sulan is a performance maker, director, dramaturge and facilitator. Along with her role as founding Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Rawcus theatre company, Kate is also one of the artists working on the five year Refuge project at Arts House which brings together emergency management, artists, the community and local, regional and international partners.

Kate’s cubby house installation developed as part of the Refuge project is a powerful example of how the intersection of the arts, emergency management and the creativity of young people can provide emotional support, a sense of safety and moments of delight during challenging times.

In this conversation, Kate and Scotia discuss:

The collective wisdom that comes from a community-led artistic practice and the importance of establishing a value-system that is inclusive and flexible enough to meet multiple needs and approaches;

How artists’ comfort with the unknown, and their capacity to be fluid, flexible and responsive is a real asset when collaborating and working within the emergency management sector;

The energy that working with young people has brought to Kate’s work and the idea that children and young people are a resource with valuable offerings into the emergency management space rather than something to be ‘managed’;

How the arts can support emotional preparedness through the example of Kate’s work with St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre and their development of an ‘emotional grab-and-go bag’, to provide emotional support and a sense of safety  for young people through challenging times.

Kate’s ongoing collaboration with the Red Cross through their RediPlan workshops, the deep trust and communication required to build partnerships between the arts and other sectors, and how artist’s can best provide complimentary support within a protocol-heavy system when resources are stretched.

You can listen via the player on this page or search for ‘Creative Responders’ in Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast app.

Further reading and resources:

Refuge, Arts House

In Case Of…RediPlan Workshop, Red Cross and Kate Sulan, (presented by Arts House as part of Refuge 2019: Displacement)

Rawcus Theatre Company

Red Cross Australia, RediPlan and other disaster preparedness resources

Poetry by Pauli Murray

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