CENTRED ON CULTURE: Traditional dancers opening Artstate in Lismore a couple of years ago. Photo: Kurt Petersen

CENTRED ON CULTURE: Traditional dancers opening Artstate in Lismore a couple of years ago. Photo: Kurt Petersen

Arts festival set to be a moving experience

Artstate 2019: Tamworth to host huge arts festival

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Art can be a deal-breaker for regional migration.

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ART moves people.

In an emotional sense, we demand it moves us - to entertain us or to provoke a feeling.

People can use it to align themselves with particular lenses and frames they want to the world to see them through.

But it moves people physically as well.

At least, that is one core aim of NSW Artstate festival which is coming to Tamworth this week.

MOVING SPEECH: Artstate chief executive officer Elizabeth Rogers at the Tamworth launch of the festival earlier this year. Photo: Peter Hardin

MOVING SPEECH: Artstate chief executive officer Elizabeth Rogers at the Tamworth launch of the festival earlier this year. Photo: Peter Hardin

It will be a three-day gala which will paint the country music capital in all manner of colours across all artistic media.

It is also a huge annual conference for arts industry heavies with a couple hundred expected to descend on the city for the last weekend in October.

People are being urged to get out and take the range of free and ticketed events and exhibitions which will be on over the weekend.

RARING TO GO: Local artists and leaders at the Tamworth launch. Photo: Peter Hardin

RARING TO GO: Local artists and leaders at the Tamworth launch. Photo: Peter Hardin

The conference side of the event focuses on the issues and themes in arts practice in regional areas.

It's an important theme for Artstate chief executive officer Elizabeth Rogers who told the Leader "art underpins everything".

It can be a deal-breaker for regional migration she explained.

"When people are thinking of moving from the city, they want facilities," she said.

"Obviously, work opportunities, education and sporting grounds, but they're also going to want creative activities.

READ MORE: Making migration work for regional areas

"So the value of museums, galleries, theatres and conservatoriums can be be hard to quantify, but they can be decision-breakers for enhanced migration."

Art can be moving, it would seem.

But the propelling force for creative industries is often "the smell of an oily rag".

A report by the independent think tank, A New Approach found, together, Australia's governments put about $7 billion to arts and culture each year, or one percent of their total combined expenditure.

While the Department of Communications and the Arts' figures show Australia's creative and cultural activity contributes more than $111 billion to the gross domestic product and employs more than 600,000 people.

Tamworth is the third regional city host the Artstate conference, which is funded by the NSW government and supported by Tamworth Regional Council.

The event kicks off on Thursday, October 31 and runs until Saturday, November 2.

What will be happening?

Conferences

Over the two days, delegates and industry leaders will come together to discuss the themes, "On Country - In Country" and "Arts in the Age of Uncertainty".

The keynote speakers for the Artstate Tamworth speakers program include CEO of the Australian Council for the Arts, Adrian Collette AM; Water and Environmental Scientist and Kamilaroi man, Brad Moggridge; Executive Director for WildWorks theatre company from the UK, Emma Hogg; and Artist, Storyteller and indigenous Canadian man, Patrick Shannon.

These keynotes will be joined on the speaker's stage by an array of panellists who will each share their take on how artists remain connected to their land and culture whilst weathering the constant changes of the industry.

Exhibits

Complementary to the speaker's program is the arts festival that will commence with the Artstate Tamworth Opening Ceremony on Thursday, October 31 in Bicentennial Park.

Reko Rennie, The Regional Youth Orchestra and Roger Knox are amongst the artists involved in the free arts program along with Aboriginal weaving projects, a range of exhibitions, theatrical productions and more.

For more information about the Artstate project, to view the program for Artstate Tamworth or the register to attend, visit www.artstate.com.au

The story Arts festival set to be a moving experience first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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