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May 17, 2021

Lismore the first city to host Artstate

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Lismore Regional Gallery Director Brett Adlington. Photo supplied.
Lismore Regional Gallery Director Brett Adlington. Photo supplied.

Lismore is the first city in New South Wales to host Artstate, a four day event that will welcome 200 arts industry delegates from 30 November to 3 December.

Artstate is a four-year program of conversations, partnerships and opportunities for regional artists and arts organisations.

Its aim is to demonstrate the vibrancy of the arts sector in regional areas through a two-day conference program alongside an exciting and diverse arts program that will feature a selection of regional NSW  creatives.

Artstate keynote speakers include internationally-renowned musician, Soumik Datta from the UK.  As a virtuoso sarod player, his creative practice is deeply based in his Indian heritage. Soumik has collaborated with an eclectic range of artists including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Talvin Singh, Joss Stone, Shankar Mahadevan, City of London Sinfonia, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

As well as his keynote presentation, Datta will hit the stage as part of the Artlands arts program in his only Australian performance.

Featured speakers also include Director of the Norway international indigenous arts and culture festival, the largest indigenous festival in northern Europe, Riddu Riđđu Festivála, Karoline Trollvik; and member of the Bundjalung nation Rhoda Roberts, who is Head of Indigenous Programming, Sydney Opera House, Creative Director, Gallery & Events, Festival Director, Boomerang Festival and Curator of the second annual Parrtijima – A Festival in Light event in Alice Springs.

Alongside the speakers program will be an arts program open to the public.

The line-up will feature the world premiere of local theatre company, Northern Rivers Performing Arts’ new production Djurra; as well as a line-up of great local talent including Tora, The Wharves, Sarah Tindley, Blakboi, Tra La La Blip and Tullara.

In a big coup for Artstate Brunswick Picture House is moving to the big smoke of Lismore for the weekend with its Cheeky Cabaret. Bold and brash, sexy and dangerous, the show smashes together circus, vaudeville, comedy and everything in between, and is a must-see on the arts program calendar.

Artstate will also see musical theatre with a performance of The Daughters of the Rum Rebellion that reveals the hidden history of Australia’s female bushrangers, starring Gleny Rae and Ilona Harker, and a little something for the kids with performances of Roundabout Theatre’s new interactive production, Colours daily.

Coinciding with the launch of the new Lismore Regional Gallery, Dreaming Trails is a partnership between Lismore Regional Gallery and Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and has been curated by Gumbaynggirr cultural worker, Alison Williams.

The legendary Djon Mundine has curated the second exhibition, Four Women (I do belong) inspired by the 1966 Nina Simone song Four Women. Four Aboriginal and four non-Aboriginal artists evoke the atmosphere of the Northern Rivers region that speaks of a deep and metaphysical connection to the land, the modern history and environment.

Closing out the event on Sunday morning will be a free concert by the young and extremely talented musicians from the Regional Youth Orchestra. Selected by audition from the network of 17 regional conservatoriums, the orchestra members will be travelling from all over NSW to perform at Artstate.

Artstate is open to artists, community and cultural leaders and workers, local government and even those from across the border who seek inspiration, ideas and partnerships and possibilities. Given the international, national, and local calibre of speakers and entertainment this is a rare and unique opportunity for locals to join this conversation.

Artstate Lismore is produced by Regional Arts NSW in partnership with Arts Northern Rivers, and is supported by Create NSW and Lismore City Council.

For full details of the Artstate program and tickets to the event, visit www.artstate.com.au

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