Local Artists Featured : New Annual Festival 2024

08 May 24

City of Newcastle (CN) has awarded five local creative organisations close to $100,000 in funding to bring their unique ideas to life at this year's New Annual festival.

A total of $94,500 was offered from CN's "Made New" expressions of interest (EOI) commissioning process as part of a five-year plan to support the region's arts industry.

Design and fabrication workshop Built In-Kind will make its New Annual debut in 2024 as one of the successful program applicants. 

The group, which specialises in custom furniture and delivers education to women and diverse communities, will offer "Morphology of Memory" workshops as part of a collaborative project with Everett Creative. Participants will work together to create a sculptural 'dining hall' from recycled materials.

Newcastle Youth Orchestra will debut "Rising from the Ashes: An Orchestral Suite" an immersive concert merging music, visuals, and dance to showcase compositions by local Indigenous composer Jacob Cummins. A participatory wayfinding art adventure through the city will be brought to life by Tantrum Youth Arts, and Newcastle-based dance company Catapult Choreographic Hub will commission a new contemporary dance work crafted by acclaimed First Nations choreographer Jasmin Sheppard and performed by a diverse ensemble of artists. 

The final recipient of this year's "Made New" funding, Art Thinking, will create an immersive experience centred around a chair that interacts with users' physical input to generate visuals on LED screens.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said that continuing to support such a high calibre of local creative talent was integral to New Annual's success.

"City of Newcastle's 'Made New' program will this year see almost $100,000 additional funding invested directly into local arts performances as part of the flagship festival," Cr Nelmes said.

"Our commitment to fund local talent forms part of our five-year plan to support and grow our region's arts industry while simultaneously attracting renowned artists that will help New Annual achieve national recognition.

"In addition, the festival will strengthen Newcastle's position as a cultural tourism destination, which generates an economic boost for local businesses through hotel stays and increased visitor spending in the city."

Chair of CN's Community and Culture Advisory Committee Cr Carol Duncan said New Annual would continue to provide a high-profile vehicle for innovation, creativity, and entertainment in Newcastle.

"Local artists and performers accounted for more than 60 per cent of New Annual's 2023 programming, and this year we expect the same," Cr Duncan said.

"The expressions of interest for the 2024 'Made New' funding were of a high standard, and I am thrilled that the five successful organisations will be featured in this year's program."

Featuring free, ticketed and family-friendly events, New Annual will run for 10 days during the Spring school holidays from 27 September to 6 October 2024, with the full program to be announced later this year. 

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Image: Catapult Choreographic Hub perform Rhapsody as part of the New Annual Festival 2023