QPAC has announced the line up for its 2016 Out of the Box festival, set to feature 17 world premieres, two Australian premieres and 18 works specifically commissioned by QPAC.

Held from 21 to 28 June at QPAC, across the Cultural Precinct and South Bank, Out of the Box provides a rich arts-based program for both schools and the general public to enjoy.

The program has been curated by QPAC for the last 24 years and is the only arts festival in Australia dedicated to children 8 and under.

Out of the Box Festival Director, Brett Howe says this year’s event is about putting children in the expert’s chair.

“We have placed children centrally in the development of Out of the Box, testing our thoughts, assumptions and programs with children at key stages of the process,” he says.

“The overall connecting theme of the Festival is Shining Light into Dark Places, fostering exploration and discovery. The program delivers six different theatre productions, 18 workshops, and 18 free activities; comprising 11 exhibitions, films, activities and seven free workshops.”

In lead up to the festival, around 200 workshops will be held at schools across Queensland so students can help create elements that will be featured during the festival.

QPAC’s Chief Executive, John Kotzas says the 2016 Out of the Box program considers what it is to be a young learner.

Out of the Box demonstrates world’s best practice in arts learning experiences, creatively engaging children eight years and under, and acknowledges that kids are important participants and creators of art now, as well as in the future,” he says.

“Expressing oneself and communicating what we understand of the world around us through creativity is perhaps the first language we learn.”

Out of the Box encapsulates what it is to learn by and through the arts via a big program of the best quality internationally and nationally produced children’s events across various art forms.”

This year, the festival will reflect Australia’s multi-cultural society and its connections with Asia Pacific cultures. A feature will be Indian cultures, customs and art with elements of Holi Throw, Rangoli Welcome Mats and Bollywood Dance incorporated into the program.

Program highlights include Little Big Shots, an international short film festival specifically curated for kids, which will see QPAC’s Melbourne Street Green transform into a Drive-in Cinema with custom made cars for littlies. As well as, Snow 4 Kids in The Courier-Mail Piazza and a sensory filled production called Rain: For Babies and Carers.

And, an exciting new digital and physical theatre show for kids called Creature – based on the children’s story Dot and the Kangaroo, will be performed in QPAC’s Lyric Theatre.

The Festival will also include a museum curated by children, Jarjums Life Museum offering a view into contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the eyes of children from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) and Hymba Yumba Community place (Springfield) and a dedicated Children’s Art Gallery in the QPAC Tunnel showcasing 200 artworks created especially for Out of the Box by children from across Queensland and Hubei, China.

Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP says no other event in Australia brings together arts and education as magically as Out of the Box.

“This is another example of Queensland leading the way in providing innovative arts experiences, giving a voice to children as creators and participants in the arts,” she says.

The Out of the Box Festival will be held from Tuesday 21 to Tuesday 28 June. Tickets are on sale now. To book or for the full program visit www.outoftheboxfestival.com.au or phone 136-246.