NO EXCUSES! premiered at the Big West Festival opening on November 20th and then again on November 21st, 2015. No EXCUSES!, featuring a mass women’s ensemble of 100 voices and instruments, focuses upon family violence and domestic abuse with real stories of struggle alongside those of inspirational resilience as shared by women from Melbourne’s western suburbs, retold through song. Those who experience this performance leave empowered with a message of solidarity and hope. Relating to the Big West Festival's theme: The Inner and Outer World of the House, NO EXCUSES! includes the participation of women who are homeless as well as those who are housed. The result is an emotional and ultimately triumphant journey of strength and hope. Their stories are everyone's stories.
Big West Festival is the leading community-based, contemporary arts festival in Melbourne's West - a biennial festival which includes a nine-day extravaganza that runs from 20-28 November, 2015. Relating to the Big West Festival’s theme of the Inner and Outer World of the House, NO EXCUSES! includes the participation of women who are homeless as well as those who are housed. The result is an emotional and ultimately triumphant journey of strength and hope.
“It’s been good to get the confidence to be social again, with the women here… To feel the power of having so many voices and the excitement and being together is amazing” Jess, No Excuses! Choir member.
I’m very involved in using music as a way of improving lives and educating and empowering….. We wanted people to let the emotion out, and we wanted to enable people to start talking about this” Dr Kathleen McGuire, Founder.
The opening of the Festival also coincides with the start of Social Inclusion Week 2015, which runs November 21 - 29, 2015.
The School of Hard Knocks was established in 2014, by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, to provide a range of arts and wellbeing programs to people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. It connects with a group of marginalized people who are otherwise excluded from the institutions available to assist them out of this cycle.
Artists: Dr Kathleen McGuire – composer, conductor Christina Green – composer, singer, guitarist
No Excuses! Women’s Chorus including individual community singers plus members of Only Women Aloud, Western Health Choir, Voices of Brimbank, Victoria University Choir, Divas of Sunbury, School of Hard Knocks’ Absolutely Everybody choirs. An ensemble of women instrumentalists joins them.