Everybody NOW is a national performing arts collective with its headquarters here on the Gold Coast.
It’s a company dedicated to the creation of community-based performance and so far, they’ve reached more than 20,000 people as both audience and participants.
Kate Baggerson is co-director of the organisation alongside co-founders Ian Pidd and Bec Reid. She says their purpose is to ‘move communities’ – not just physically, but culturally, socially and emotionally as well.
To date, that purpose has manifested through a series of large-scale participatory dance projects, the most recent being a show called ‘Yes, We Dance’ commissioned for Festival 2018 and Bleach* Festival as part of the Commonwealth Games and before that they showcased at the Australian Performing Arts Market and featured at Darwin Festival and the 2016 Brisbane International Arts Festival.
Everybody NOW’s focus is on interactivity. Kate says the work only exists with the hundreds of community participants that are their co-collaborators and creators on each project.
“What we are aiming to do is create inclusive, democratic and creative spaces for communities to come together – celebrating the everyday; real people, real stories, everybody now,” she explained.
Late last year, the company was included as one of nine arts organisations from the Gold Coast that will share in $1.8 million in funding over three years through the City’s Triennial Grants Program.
“It’s amazing to have ongoing support,” Kate said.
“We’ll be using the funding to deliver an annual program, starting work early this year on a new major project that will have its world premiere in the following year.”
They’re also looking at a ‘storyteller in residence’ program to continue to collect and share extraordinary stories of local Gold Coasters.
“And we’re launching an artist exchange program specifically based around contemporary socially engaged performance practice and process,” Kate said.
Everybody Now sits alongside Gold Coast Film Festival, Storyfest, The Farm, Relative Creative, The Walls, Gold Coast Music Awards, Gogi Dance Collective and Shock Therapy Productions as a Triennial Grant recipient and Kate feels strongly that the biggest outcome from this funding will be that the Gold Coast will continue to offer outstanding arts and cultural experiences to share with the community.
“The debate about the value of arts and culture is (mostly) long over, the value is proven and the rewards are rich,” she said.
“I think the mix of triennially funded organisations really serves the people of the Gold Coast extraordinarily well from being able to access visual arts, music, dance, theatre and community engagement work like ours.”
“We’re really passionate and committed to seeing increased participation in the arts; telling stories that make us who we are and who we can become – past, present and future –we hope that will be one of the biggest results over the next three years,” she said.
Read more at everybodynow.com.au.