NIDA Supports Young Talent with Equity Scholarships

JJ Dolor at the NIDA Musical Theatre workshop in Chatswood. All images supplied by NIDA.

NIDA Open Launches Equity Program to Empower New Creatives

$50K in Scholarships Available ⏤ Round 1 Closes March 15

Talent should know no boundaries. But in Australia, it’s still the case that finance, geographical location and school can prevent a young person from experiencing the empowerment and joy that creativity can bring.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art‘s Open program is offering over $50,000 worth of complimentary tuition in 2021 to help young people and adult emerging artists who are experiencing financial or other disadvantage to achieve their full creative potential.

Julian Joshua Dolor, or JJ as he likes to be known, was just 13 when he joined the NIDA Open Musical Theatre 101 program in Chatswood, Sydney.  It was JJ’s first ever workshop, despite being chosen as one of the ‘Young Simbas’ in The Lion King International Tour back in 2018.

Looking back on that moment, JJ said he “noticed a change on my outlook in that I saw the potential of a career in the performing arts, but only if I worked hard. It inspired me even more to keep on working for my dreams and aspirations.”

“Often it takes just one open door to unleash the passion and empower the imagination of a young or emerging artist. Providing equity of access to our short course program is a large part of the journey to ensuring everyone can explore their creative side through a NIDA program,” said NIDA’s Director of Public Programs, Tricia Ryan.

JJ realises he learnt a “deeper understanding of the challenges every musical actor has to go through. And that those challenges, result in unique and beautiful theatre experiences, both for the performer and the audience.”

When Payge Karovolos-Dymott, from regional Gin Gin State High School in Queensland, took advantage of the opportunity in 2019 to take part in NIDA Drama School classes through the NIDA Open Equity Scholarship program it had a huge impact on her life as a creative young  person.

The impact was felt across her school as drama and English teacher Louise Mayocci explains. “As a regional school, we rarely have opportunities to experience the arts or collaborate with students outside of our area. The NIDA Open Equity Scholarship helped give Payge confidence and skills to grow her acting abilities. She was able to bring that experiences and the activities she did back to the classroom, so we all could benefit.”

NIDA delivers world-class exploratory, creatively challenging and inspiring performing arts training,” said NIDA’s Tricia Ryan.

“We’re committed to supporting the rich diversity of aspiring creative talent across the Australian cultural landscape. This is why NIDA is proud to once again offer the Equity Scholarships for our online and face0-to-face short courses in 2021.

“Were looking to ignite the creativity of young and emerging artists in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and across the country through our online programs by offering complimentary tuition on any NIDA Open short course throughout 2021.”

Mayocchi sums it up. “My advice for anyone considering taking part, is to pour your heart into this experience and take every opportunity with both hands. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there with students from across the state, as you’ll gain a new perspective which will be invaluable.”


The NIDA Open Equity Scholarships are available throughout the year and are open to applicants from Grade 3 through to adults 18yrs+ nationally, regardless of previous experience or professional ambition.  

Applications can be made by individuals or by an organisation on behalf of a young person or emerging artist identified as a suitable scholarship applicant.

Image from NIDA Open Summer holiday program photoshoot, Aug 2019.

The scholarships cover NIDA Open Programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or online where a NIDA Open course is being offered.

Students in the following age brackets are eligible to apply in 2021:
●  Children in school grades 3–6
●  Young people in school grades 7–12
●  Adults aged 18+ in face-to-face classes
●  Adults aged 16+ in online classes

Application closing date:
There are four application deadlines this year.

Round 1: Apply by Monday 15 March for Term 2 and Winter Holidays 2021.
Round 2: Apply by Monday 3 May for Term 3 2021.
Round 3: Apply by Monday 26 July for Spring Holidays and Term 4 2021.
Round 4: Apply by Monday 18 October for Summer Holidays 2021 and Term 1 2022.

All details and how to apply are on the NIDA website.

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