• intouch magazine | #04 | september 2015

Clowns, comedians and a whistle-blower to attend open invitation 18th Birthday Party for THIS IS NOT

Since its humble beginnings, This is Not Art (known to friends as TiNA) has been Newcastle’s festival. These days TiNA is commemorating its 18th birthday and has earned the reputation of being one of Australia’s most exciting and longest-running experimental arts festivals.

Come the October long weekend (October 1 – 4), TiNA will occupy a spectrum of spaces, providing a unique and exciting snapshot of what the East End has to offer and celebrating with a jampacked program of events including The National Young Writers Festival (NYWF), Critical Animals, Crack Theatre Festival (see article on Page 13) and very special fist-time guests, Ladyz in Noyz Australia.

With over 150 options for entertainment, inspiration, discussion and delight, there will be streams of interest to appeal to the creative community, innovators, change-makers, cultural vultures, teens and the general public, young and old. “We’re set to reinvigorate the festival in 2015, consolidating past successes while also bringing the festival back firmly o its roots as a showcase for local talent, to national audiences,’ said newly-appointed Executive Producer, Kate Britton.

“Whether participants and audiences remember TiNA from the good old days or are experiencing it for the fist time, we believe that it can energise, inspire and excite. Prepare for an enhanced festival atmosphere with visibly activated public spaces to complement the program – Newcastle is in for one hell of a party thanks to this stellar line-up!”

The National Young Writers Festival (NYWF) is the country’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop music, journalism, autobiography, comedy, song writing and prose. The festival presents ‘writing’ in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances, readings, installations, and more.

Critical Animals will host the ‘Out Of Place Symposium’ at The Lock-Up, exploring how we engage and collaborate with our communities through a series of panels, workshops and exhibitions with a contemporary art focus. One such event, hosted by Triple J Hack reporter Alice Workman, explores Australia's place on the world's stage and questions whether we are leaders, followers or detractors with a panel that includes foreign correspondents.

As well as providing the soundtrack to TiNA in 2015, Ladyz in Noyz Australia will teach girls how to navigate a mixing desk and their Sonic Kids’ Workshop will be a hands-on exploration of how sounds are created with scientist and musician Dr Claire Pannell. Other program highlights include the ‘Asian Ghost-ery Store’, a late-night trolley ride of story, sketch, performance and meandering rumination.

Audiences will don lab coats and vote on a protagonist's actions at a house party using smartphones in the interactive play ‘PressOne4Love’, and the immersive installation ‘NEVERLAND’ will provide a treasure map to punters, guiding them through the fantasy world of a late 90s teen bedroom. ‘ART FIT’ provides a series of therapeutic workouts for the modern creative, such as “abstractercise” - a gymnasium for the imagination. The four unique mind, body and soul teasers will be engaging hour-long workouts that shake off cobwebs to reimagine, reinvigorate and power up participants’ artistic practices. This Is Not Art – it’s an idea and a party, a new friend and a fresh perspective. It’s Newcastle’s festival – so get involved. The festival runs from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th October. Visit www.thisisnotart.org for full program.

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