Genext Turns 10!

Art Announcement from Australia. Published by M.C.A. on Monday 02 November 2015.

Genext Turns 10!  image

Genext now takes place 5 times a year, commanding all four floors of the MCA. It is planned and managed by the MCA Youth Committee and features exclusive access to all current exhibitions as well as performances, interactive and participatory experiences facilitated by artists, workshops, art-making activities, multiple stages for live music, and film. Over 600 young people attend each event.

It all started back in 2005 when Neil Balnaves (Founder of the Balnaves Foundation) approached Elizabeth Ann McGregor )Liz Ann) with a rather audacious idea:

With the support of the Balnaves Foundation, might MCA consider hosting a free, after-hours event, encouraging teenagers from all over Sydney to mingle and make art in a creative but (here’s the kicker) teacher and parent-free environment…. ?
Let a whole bunch of young, excitable people loose in a museum, after–hours, with no teachers or parents in sight?

Was he kidding?!

No, he was not. And neither was Liz Ann when, instead of heartily laughing at such a bold and brave venture, she told him ‘You’re on!’ and in December 2005, the debut Genext took place.

120 young people attended and thought it rocked. The event took place in the Foundation Hall with Level 1 of the old galleries open. Genext enabled the MCA to engage a younger audience with contemporary art and ideas for the first time. It was considered a great success.

Thanks to the generosity of the Balnaves Foundation, the Genext event has been privileged with 10 years of funding over which to grow and evolve.

Since its inception:

• 16,987 young people have attended the event
• 1,065 MCA staff members have run the event
• 45 exhibitions have been viewed
• Approximately 3,500 arancini balls have been devoured
• 9 Youth Committee members have gone on to work at the MCA
• 2, 686 art-making activities have been enjoyed
• 168 live musicians and bands have played
• Over 30 exhibiting artists have been guests, including Brown Council, Juz Kitson, Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, Lindy Lee, Emma Price and Liam Benson.