Novocastrians already know what makes their city a great place.
So, hosting an annual arts festival is about letting the rest of the country in on the secret.
Speaking in the lead-up to the launch of the inaugural New Annual festival, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says the city’s new ten-day event is set to not only draw crowds to the city but give home-grown talent a new platform as well.
“We’ve been very successful at attracting very large events here in my time,” Cr Nelmes said.
“This has been a part of a very deliberate strategy to change the perception of Newcastle, outside of Newcastle.
“This is about not only growing our reputation as a festival and events city, but also about providing a platform for up and coming artists, established artists and touring artists.”
With its heart in the Civic Park at a pop-up installation known as ‘The Hangar’, New Annual will stretch across an array of city venues including the Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum, The Station, Foreshore park, Miss Porter’s House, The Lock Up and Timeless Textiles.
The ten-day program will see more than 100 artists performing in 50 events from varying genres, including performance, dance and visual arts.
“It’s a blank canvas to grow local talent,” Cr Nelmes said.
“Over time the festival will grow to become a significant generator of cultural tourism, positioning Newcastle as an innovative and creative community with a vibrant cultural history, an amazing depth of talent within its performing and visual arts sector and a bright future as a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.
“When you live here for a while you know how great Newcastle is, now it’s about changing the perception of Newcastle, outside Newcastle.”
New Annual will kick off this Friday 12 February with events scheduled until 21 February.