A Contemporary Arts Festival For Everyone
Offering a curated explosion of contemporary arts in all shapes and sizes, Art, Not Apart is a Canberra arts festival that celebrates the region’s exceptional artists alongside interstate and overseas talent. The festival isn’t just about art, but uses art as a metaphor to diminish boundaries, shining a light on the lesser heard and lesser seen.
Debuted in 2012 in honour of the creative, artistic talent that thrums throughout the nation’s capital. Art, Not Apart is now on the precipice of its ninth iteration; expected to attract over 15,000 attendees in 2019. Dave Caffery produces the festival. We caught up with Dave to get his thoughts on Canberra’s eclectic arts scene and the importance of the festival itself.
Art, Not Apart is a curated arts festival with a public application process. Since 2017, the festival has employed a cast of local curators to program the festival. Each curator manages one arts medium: Music, Visual Art, Street Art, Performance Art (including Dance), Film and Moving Image, and Interactive Installations. The task at hand is tough—the curatorial panel undertakes sorting through hundreds of applications and then selecting and programming exceptional projects which fit that year’s curatorial theme. In 2019, the brief is Soul and Mortar; prompting entrants to consider works that “build soul or artistically attack its assailants.”
Art, Not Apart commits at least 50% of program funding to Canberra artists “as a show of support and a celebration of the region’s exceptional contemporary artists,” Dave explains. Visiting artists from interstate and overseas are also welcome to apply and regularly feature at the festival, creating a diverse and eclectic line-up that Dave animatedly describes as “a feast for the senses.”
“As the festival’s reputation grows, it’s garnering greater exposure abroad which in turn attracts visitors. This is fantastic for the local artists we celebrate, and great for the Canberra arts scene as a whole.”
– DAVE CAFFREY, Producer of Art, Not Apart
Exhibitions, performance art, multiple music stages, interactive installations, film and moving image, spontaneous interventions, delicious food and drink and a party atmosphere are just some of the experiences attendees can expect from Art, Not Apart.
The works seek to inspire. They are thoughtfully displayed throughout the central areas of Canberra; bringing to life many of the city’s cultural icons. Dave explains that “it can be impossible to catch everything because there is so much going on at once. It’s a celebration of contemporary arts in all shapes and sizes, and because of this, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
On the response of locals to Art, Not Apart, Dave notes that “the Canberra public have been so supportive since the festival began and it’s great to see the number of interstate attendees increasing year on year, too.”
“As the festival’s reputation grows, it’s garnering greater exposure abroad which in turn attracts visitors. This is fantastic for the local artists we celebrate, and great for the Canberra arts scene as a whole.” Happily, 99% of the festival is free to enjoy, so there are no barriers stopping locals and visitors dipping their toes in (or jumping in at the deep end!)
Art, Not Apart
16 March 2019
Various locations around New Acton