Public school students from across NSW who have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 and natural disasters will have the opportunity of a lifetime, thanks to an initiative launched by the NSW Nationals in the state government in partnership with the Michael Cassel Group.
Nationals Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said 170 students who have been severely impacted by natural disasters or COVID-19 over the last 18 months will receive a unique Hamilton experience, with tickets to the hit musical followed by an exclusive Q&A with the cast.
Tickets will go to performing arts students from regional and remote NSW, as well as from the hardest-hit LGAs in Sydney.
In addition to viewing the production and meeting the cast, students will take part in several NIDA workshops.
Ms Mitchell said students and their families had been through a really challenging 18 months, and for those who have experienced additional hardship, this was a chance for them to return to the theatre and be inspired.
“The story of Hamilton is not only the story of building a nation, it’s a story of overcoming hardship – something our students have become very familiar with over the last 18 months,” Ms Mitchell said.
“This is an opportunity for students from across the state to gain special access to ‘the room where it happens’ – the spectacular Australian production of Hamilton at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Disaster Recovery Paul Toole said it had been one of the toughest periods for students across NSW.
“From bushfires to floods and COVID-19, our students have faced near two years of unprecedented challenges and the opportunity to let their hair down and meet the cast of Hamilton will be something they’ll never forget,” Mr Toole said.
The show’s producer, Michael Cassel, said it was impossible not to be inspired by the show, and this initiative will no doubt help motivate the next generation of storytellers and art makers in NSW.
“I couldn’t be happier that we are able to provide this opportunity for NSW Public School students to experience Hamilton in Sydney,” Mr Cassel said.
The Department of Education’s Arts Unit will select the students, with schools initially asked to nominate up to four students to take part in the Hamilton experience. Teachers are also invited to apply to accompany the students.
The Hamilton experience is the latest initiative from the NSW Government aimed at helping rebuild the arts in school communities.
NSW public schools impacted by natural disasters and the COVID pandemic can now apply for the 2022 Minister’s Arts Recovery Grants.
Grants of up to $10,000 are available to support arts-based projects for students and schools, with more information available on the Department’s website.