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Made New funding recipients to prepare for 2024 New Annual


Design, dance and music are some of the elements set to shine at this year’s New Annual festival, after five local creative groups were awarded almost $100,000 in funding to bring their ideas to life. 

They were selected as part of City of Newcastle’s (CN) ‘Made New’ expressions of interest campaign. 

Their ideas will feature in this year’s 10-day inner-city festival, kickstarting Friday 27 September. 

From sculpture to a dining experience, immersive music, Indigenous dance, and a chair that feels your energy, the 2024 funding recipients are expected to bring a fresh look to the popular arts extravaganza.

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

The group, which specialises in custom furniture and delivers education to women and diverse communities, will offer The Memory Feast seminars, in which participants create a sculptural “dining hall” from recycled materials, and finish with a dining experience that showcases local chefs, food and wineries. 

Newcastle Youth Orchestra will debut Mistborn 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, Art Thinking, will create an immersive experience centred around a chair that interacts with users’ physical input to generate visuals on LED screens. 

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

“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,” she explained.

“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 Carol Duncan said New Annual provides a high-profile vehicle for innovation, creativity, and entertainment in Newcastle. 

“Local artists and performers accounted for more than 60% of New Annual’s 2023 programming, and this year we expect the same,” Cr Duncan added. 

“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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