Children’s performer Emily McKnight was awarded a Cultural Trust grant to attend the Artist Meets Early Years program at Visioni di futuro Festival, Bologna, Italy.

The festival was an opportunity for Emily to perform and experiment with her craft among similar artists and to receive feedback about her performance.

Scheduled to take place from 28 February to 8 March 2020, the festival was cancelled days before it began due to COVID-19’s rapid spread throughout Italy. The cancellation of the festival meant Emily was unable to take an important step to develop her practice.

In Australia, social distancing measures prevent Emily from performing and she has therefore adapted her artistic practice to screen-based as opposed to live performance. Emily has grown her online presence; writing and performing in a children’s web series, online concerts and releasing her second album ‘It’s Who Time’.

Ultimately, Emily is looking forward to the ease in travel restrictions and the prospect of attending a similar development opportunity.

Attending an overseas festival dedicated to children’s performance would be incredible as there is nothing like that here in Australia. I think I would try to include some of my new found digital skills in the performance, or would at least attend the festival with a slightly different mindset than I might have before – hoping to further learn how we can continue no matter what the circumstances.
Emily McKnight