10CHILDREN Newsletter

The first 10CHILDREN festival takes place in Cleveland (OHIO) from June 17 - 24 2023. And also in 4 other cities lots of preparations are going on. Check our newsletter from june 2023. 


Posted 1 june

Part of 10CHILDREN are the 10CHILDRENdocuments. In each city where 10CHILDREN takes place, we investigate the subject of 'poverty and children' from different angles. The result is an extensive article in each city and a great diversity of inspiration material for the different artists collaborating in the project. In Curitiba, our project leader Michele Menezes (Pró Cult Eventos e Projetos Culturais) is hard at work collecting material on 'poverty and the Indigenous community'. In Cape Town, Faye Kabali-Kagwa and Yusrah Bardien of ASSITEJ SA are working on 'poverty and absent parents' and in Cleveland Courtney Hutchinson is working on 'poverty and health'. As soon as a paper is ready, it will be shared through our website. 

Researching children's perspectives

Posted 1 June2021

How do you put children's perspectives at the center of an art project like 10CHILDREN? We believe that you can only do that when you put the child in the middle of the world and when you show an interaction between adult artists and children. It is about a balance and exchange between the perspective of children and adults and not just the perspective of the children. And in such a way that children really feel seen and heard. There is a lot of experience on which such a collaboration between children and adult artists can take place. To support the artists within 10CHILDREN, German artist/researcher Ingo Tomi is investigating different methods how adult artists and children can work together to collect and develop material for a project like 10CHILDREN. The research will be completed in September 2021. 

10CHILDREN in Europe

Posted 1 June 2021

In addition to Cape Town, Curitiba and Cleveland, we are preparing a 10CHILDREN project in Europe. We are working with several houses in Europe around the theme of poverty and hunger. Discussions with the intended collaborators are currently underway. We will be able to share more about this in September.


Lisa Langford writes play 

Posted 1 June 2021

Lisa Langford, a well-known playwright from Cleveland, is collaborating with 10CHILDREN on the playwriting for the play about "poverty and health. She attended The Juilliard School and The American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre. She has worked with Maya Angelou, among others. She is associated as an artistic collaborator with Black Lives Black Words, an international project to support artists who seek an artistic response to current social issues. She has written the stage plays Rastus and Hattie and Teddy Bear Mountain, among others. The conversations with Lisa in preparation for the new play are very inspiring. 


Posted 1 june 2021

The first 10CHILDRENtalk will take place in September. All collaborators from Cleveland, Curitiba, Cape Town and Europe come together to meet and exchange topics related to 10CHILDREN. These 10CHILDRENtalks support the international possibilities of the project. On the one hand, the topics and their (artistic) elaborations are linked to local conditions. On the other hand, there is also much in common: both in content and in ways of working. These 10CHILDRENtalks will take place on a regular basis in the future. A report of this meeting will be shared via the website.  

INTERVIEW Liesbeth Coltof, Dennis Meyer by Marian Buijs

Posted 1 March 2021

Journalist Marian Buijs interviewed Liesbeth Coltof and Dennis Meyer. “In this project we want to work at the intersection of art and social action. Children, young people and their parents see their lives reflected on stage and experience how important they are. And the quality of the performance also affects the people sitting on the other side, the very people who make the decisions that can change and improve things. Really good art gives us a real experience and inspires people to act.” You can read the interview here


Posted 20 March 2020 by Dennis Meyer 

The progress of 10CHILDREN has also been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. Our first concern goes out to the children and young people living in poverty. How does the virus and it’s consequences effect their lives? Especially now our partners try to stay in contact with the children.

Linda Jackson from Cleveland: “We worry about the children too. Many do not have internet access so online learning is not possible.  The school district is working to get technology and access to them. They likely won’t return to school this year which means we won’t be able to do our spring residencies.  We will explore ways we can support them with the arts in other ways. There have been several special drive through food pick-ups for families in needs. The schools have also made sure to set up sites so that the children can pick up lunch (in an appropriate way during the day).
So many people are out of work.  And like the Netherlands everything is closed. I worry about all the industries and that arts are/will be very hard hit. We’ll take a deep breath and get through this and see where things go from here.

Yvette Hardie from Cape Town: “There is so much hardship and pain in the world right now, and we are most concerned about the children and young people who are in lockdown, sometimes with violent adults, often without sufficient nourishment or space or any of the privileges which we are lucky enough to have at our disposal. For children and young people in Vrygrond, Khayelitsha, Alexandra and all the countless other places in our country, it is a very worrying. On the positive side, I have been very excited to see so much engagement from NGOS and cooperation and support from communities to one another – and there are some positive aspects to the response.”

Mandisi Disi Sindo, founder of  Kasi RC Shack Art School & Theatre writes on the Facebook page how at this moment his theater is providing food and protection to children in Khayelitsha.



Posted March 18 2020 by Dennis Meyer

In this time of Corona we received great new: CLEVELAND PLAYHOUSE will be our partner in developing and producing the 10CHILDREN theatre production in Cleveland (Ohio). The production will premiere during the New Ground Theatre Festival in May, 2022. Local writers will do research and make a script, the actors/ musicians of Cleveland Playhouse and children from the poor neighborhoods perform Liesbeth Coltof directs, Dennis Meyer is the dramaturge. Further news to follow.



We are happy and proud that Rieks Swarte, well-known designer in the Netherlands, has created our new corporate identity. We love his style: the handmade drawings, the images of children, the colors. His design  really represents the idea of 10children in a clear and playful way. Thank you, Rieks!


Posted February 20 2020 by Dennis Meyer

 One of the most impressive meetings we had in Cape Town was with the thirty-year-old Beauty Bokwani. Beauty had a very difficult childhood during apartheid. Her own experiences became the starting point for her work with children in her township. With little or no means, in a small yellow-green room behind her brother's house, she looks after children who would otherwise live on the streets. Her little day-care centre is always open, even at night. We listened to Beauty on children's stools in her small room, which was furnished with great attention. With a strong voice and careful pronunciation she told about “her children” and the difficulties they face on a daily basis. She believes strongly that art and imagination is a possible tool for children to take their future into their own hands. Beauty also wrote down her own childhood in stories. We are going to integrate these into our performance.


Posted February 16 2020 by Dennis Meyer

 We were moved by the visit to the Boys&Girls Club in the middle of one of Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods. Chris Anderson told us with great conviction about the work of the Boys&Girls Club, an organization that operates throughout the U.S.. Children and young people get the possibility to do all kinds of activities here after school. From sports to making video clips, painting, doing homework, etc. etc. He led us through their building and a little girl pulled his arm to ask him something. It became clear to us that Chris did this work not only because it was his ‘job’, but because he really wanted to make a difference in the lives of these children.