It was a love of the arts and working with kids that inspired Polly Burridge to volunteer for Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Youth’s Way Out West (WOW) Kids festival while she was still in high school. After one festival she was hooked and with another festival and a play under her belt it wasn’t long before she was approached to be on the CPAC Youth committee.

CPAC Youth is a band of 15-25 year olds with a passion for the arts that create events and opportunities to bring young people’s ideas to life.  Apart from the annual WOW Children’s Festival and Artist’s Market, Art Meets West, they have run events like a degustation dinner with food from 10 different cultures and performances to match each course, youth curated art exhibitions, zines, parties and plays.  They keep the events varied and easily accessible to the local young people finding that once someone visits the first time they nearly always come back for more.

Polly and the team are having a well-earned break after running two major events.  The 6th annual WOW Children’s Festival was a massive event with yoga, a giant cubby and art related activities for every age group with the CPAC Youth run Lostalgia workshop a highlight.  “It's called Lostalgia with an L because it's about lost arts” explains Polly, “We felt that kids weren't really making things like we did as kids. We wanted to revitalise it because it’s such a big part of our childhood - getting things and making chatterboxes and friendship bracelets. And I think kids really love doing that kind of stuff”.  The committee was right, Lostalgia was a big hit. “A lot of people came through and had a good time. Kids came away from making a few things, and were like, 'Oh, we can go and do this at home.' That's really what we were aiming for”.

The Art Meets West market, featuring art, live music, live graffiti and food from local artists just 4 weeks later was blessed with stunning weather and happy shoppers.

With loads of ideas for the coming year Polly’s looking forward to finishing her Graphic Design Honours project and hooking up with the rest of the committee to start fleshing out what’s next.  “We’re all friends and they’re such a good group of people, we'll bounce ideas off each other and joke around, and still be able to come to together and make something wonderful. It’s such a good environment to be a part of.

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