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A Letter From the Director

Dear Parents and Students,

Thank you for another amazing year of creativity, community and achievement. 2019 has been action packed! From Katie’s performance in her first ATYP production and Lexie’s starring role in a professional show at The Hayes Theatre, to the completion of three Associate Teaching Diplomas and Joel’s first solo Speech and Drama performance on stage, the year has been one highlight after the next (just to name a few). But as great as 2019 has been, I am delighted to announce that 2020 will be even better! With the growth of our teaching staff at the studio, and ten years experience under our belt, it is finally time for our little, local grown, studio to expand.

As well as offering tuition at the studio, and exploring classes in new locations, next year Grace Studios will be partnering with schools in the Sutherland Shire to run cross-curricular creative arts extension programs before and after school, on school campus! Our programs will offer students unique experiences and mentorship that is not always made available to them in a school context, whilst also nurturing many of the skills developed within the areas of learning on the NSW school curriculum. Private schools in the northern and eEastern suburbs have long embraced AMEB speech, drama, music and public speaking programs, as important tools for ensuring their students excel across the board, and for enhancing their own unique value proposition as educational leaders amongst Sydney schools. After a decade of teaching in the Sutherland Shire, as a peripatetic teacher in schools and as the director of Grace Studios, it is with great pride that I would like to introduce a new generation of fully qualified AMEB Speech and Drama teachers to the Sutherland Shire, and provide these opportunities for the young people of Southern Sydney. So keep an eye out for us and please do feel free to refer our services to your schools! You can do so by sharing our schools information pack (link at the end of this letter). The warmest introductions can come from those who know our work best!

Speech and Drama provides students with so many transferable skills. The voice, communication and theatrical training I have been privileged to pursue in my personal and professional career has empowered me to speak up for what I believe in, to be self reflective and empathetic, to be self assured and self expressive, to be persuasive and motivational, to pursue critical thinking and kindness (these are the gifts we strive to give our students). As well as equipping me with the skills I have needed to be a passionate and impactful drama teacher, this training has also helped me to thrive as a CEO and an entrepreneur. As some of you may know, for many years now while growing Grace Studios I have also been actively pursuing a career in the technology and social impact sectors, building a tech startup which has this year scaled to the US. I’ve been back and forth between countries all year, and as of 2020 will officially be opening an office in ‘Silicon Valley’ San Francisco. Given this progress, it is with a heavy heart that I would like to share that I will personally no longer be taking on regular students at the studio. Instead, my role has evolved into that of a strategic director, responsible for the mentoring and upskilling of our very talented teaching staff, and for the vision and growth of the studio.

Please don’t mistake this transition for absence. Thanks to technology, I am still working very closely with our team and overseeing the educational programming. I will be in and out of Australia, popping in for classes and planning sessions and, of course, for our amazing Rising Stars Showcase. Next year, to mark our ten year anniversary, I will be judging the showcase and presenting two new scholarship awards to outstanding students in the show, one for the winner of the Grace Studios Perpetual Trophy, and a second to encourage one stand out ‘up and coming’ talent, who I believe would benefit from additional tuition to reach their full potential. I can’t wait!

Please remember that we are registered Creative Kids service providers, so every child under the age of 18 is entitled to one government funded voucher for $100 of free tuition, redeemable at the studio in 2020. Simply visit this link to register and then email us the student’s voucher code with their registered name and DOB to receive our discount coupon.

If you would like to know more about the benefits that our classes provide, read up on AMEB, or get to know our teachers, please don’t forget to read over our new information handbook. This is particularly helpful if you are thinking of trying a new class next year, joining an additional one, or taking on private tuition (email us for further enquiries - Liz is always happy to help with any administrative questions)!

There are a few more changes in the works for next year so please remember to keep an eye on these emails (we try to send you the important stuff, not spam) and always read the product information before you book (for times, locations, dates and teachers)!

Grace is a family name that has been passed between my grandmothers, my mother and finally down to me. Its meaning is one of thanks and giving. Grace is a gift. With every new generation of students, teachers and parents who support each other and thrive as a community, Grace Studios has become a gift that keeps on giving.

Have a wonderful end to the year and a safe and happy holiday.

Very best wishes, Anna Grace

P.S I also love reading email updates from students at the studio while I am doing long flights on budget airlines - they bring me joy and maintain my sanity. Please do write to me at the NEW studio email. I will read it, I will celebrate your achievements and I will laugh at your stories and jokes.

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