Cultural events to support local performers in the lead-up to New Annual festival

15 Feb 2022

City of Newcastle (CN) is dishing up a taste of the cultural delights that will be on the menu when its flagship arts festival returns later this year. 

Three of the performances originally commissioned by CN for last year's postponed New Annual have been rescheduled in March, allowing locals to whet their appetites for the official return of the festival from 23 September to 2 October. 

Explore the Indigenous roots of Carrington Foreshore with towering, illuminated puppets created by Curious Legends in partnership with local Worimi people, meet local artists and take part in community art projects on the Studio Arts Trail in Hamilton and check out a thought-provoking one-woman show that summons the spirit of iconic French solider and Saint, Joan of Arc. 

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said maintaining support for the local arts community had been an important consideration when the decision was made to postpone last year's event. 

"After the success of the inaugural New Annual in February 2021, City of Newcastle was looking forward to following it up bigger and better in September last year before we made the tough call to postpone it in light of the growing COVID-19 case numbers at the time," Cr Nelmes said. 

"Despite our disappointment, we were committed to maintaining support for the local arts community, who have been heavily impacted during the past two years as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

"After consultations with the artists, we are thrilled to be able to include these performances and activities in March this year as an initiative of our COVID-19 Community and Economic Resilience Package. 

"This decision enables upwards of 50 artists, musicians and performers to remain involved with these three events and benefit from the exposure and performance opportunities they provide. 

"This will also give people a chance to soak up Newcastle's live events atmosphere with a taste of what's to come when the full New Annual festival returns in September." 

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Event details 

Gimbay Gatigaan: 3-5 March (Carrington Foreshore)  

In collaboration with the Newcastle Worimi community, Curious Legends will present Gimbay Gatigaan, an outdoor, site-specific family-friendly production exploring Aboriginal life and stories from Onebygamba (known locally as Carrington). 

Studio Arts Trail: 5 March (Hamilton precinct)  

Follow the Art Trail map to discover some of the most collaborative spaces for eclectic art projects in Newcastle including Hudson St Hum, Newcastle Arts Space, Clyde St Studios and Creative Incubator. 

Voices of Joan: 3-6 and 9-12 March (Hamilton North)  

Voices of Joan, by Newcastle theatre maker Janie Gibson, unravels the tangled threads of misogyny and Catholicism as she searches for Joan’s story in fragments of words. What is revealed is a voice of courage amidst adversity and an ancient story about gender, truth, and power, themes that still resonate today.