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News Archive

Entries for the Sculpture on the Farm now open

The Inaugural Sculpture on the Farm Exhibition online entry is now available via the website www.sculptureonthefarm.com 

Entries close 1 June 2018. 

Sculpture on the Farm will be held at “Fosterton” opening on Friday 28 September at 5pm, then Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September and Monday 1 October, 2018.  This inaugural exhibition and sale of sculptures will be held in conjunction with the renowned Dungog Festival, which is a celebration of the arts, local food and rural life and attracts people from all over the state.

Outdoor works will be displayed in the gardens and paddocks of the Williams River property of “Fosterton", on the outskirts of the Hunter Valley town of Dungog. Indoor works will be displayed in a spacious secure exhibition space, professionally lit and presented.

 It is a not-for-profit exhibition, which will direct profit to the promotion of public sculpture and the acquisition of public sculpture for the town of Dungog, thus enhancing the experience of rural life for residents and visitors alike.

For all the details please visit www.sculptureonthefarm.com

Photo: Committee of Sculpture on the Farm. Courtesy of the committee.




Kaput tours Upper Hunter

Kaput, the multi-award winning family show has melted hearts of all ages around the world with its glorious brand
of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness. Be swept up in the mayhem that is the larger-than-life ‘elegant buffoon’ Tom Flanagan, as one man’s life is flipped upside down by the lonely dust covered world that surrounds him. This lonely Mr Fixit takes one step forward and two steps back in a highly skilled, hilariously funny and beautifully poignant bit of madness.

Dates and Venues:
Tuesday May 1: Merriwa School of Arts
Wednesday May 2: Denman RSL
Thursday May 3: St. Luke’s Church Hall, Scone
Friday May 4: Murrurundi RSL Hall

Read more: Kaput tours Upper Hunter

Creative Writing Workshop at Muswellbrook

Have you always wanted to write or been writing alone at home for years? Then join our Creative Writing course lead by
Karen Crofts director of Hunter Writers Centre to help you whether you’re a new or seasoned writer.

This workshop is presented by the Muswellbrook Public Library in partnership with Arts Upper Hunter and the Hunter Writers Centre.

Date: Monday 16 April 2018

Time:11am to 3pm

Address: Muswellbrook Library, Bridge St, Singleton.

Read more: Creative Writing Workshop at Muswellbrook

Creative Writing Workshop at Singleton

Have you always wanted to write or been writing alone at home for years? Then join our Creative Writing course lead by
Karen Crofts director of Hunter Writers Centre to help you whether you’re anew or seasoned writer.

This workshop is presented by the Singleton Public Library in partnership with Arts Upper Hunter and the Hunter Writers Centre.

Date: Saturday 24 March 2018

Time: 9.30am to 1.30pm

Address: Singleton Library, 8-10 Queen St, Singleton.

Read more: Creative Writing Workshop at Singleton

The Wonders of Weaving – Fibres to Fabrics Workshop with Kaz Madigan


Visitors Welcome

Get weaving in your own creative way with Saori free style weaving!  This weekend workshop is for anyone and no experience at all is an advantage in weaving this creative cloth.  You’ll be weaving in a few minutes and take home a unique piece of cloth.  All looms are fully set up for a free weaving adventure.

Date: Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 March 2018

Time: 9.30am for a 10am start.

Read more: The Wonders of Weaving – Fibres to Fabrics Workshop with Kaz Madigan

Making Art Work

Making Art Work: An Economic Study of Professional Artists in Australia by David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya is the sixth
in a series carried out independently over thirty years by Professor Throsby at Macquarie University, with funding from the Australia Council. The series tracks trends in the lives and working conditions of Australian artists over 30 years and identifies challenges and opportunities for artists’ careers into the future.


There are 48,000 practising professional artists in Australia – a relatively steady number since the 1990s.

Creative work has historically accounted for around half of artists’ working time and income. It is now taking 57% of working time but generating only 39% of income.

Average total annual income for artists is $48,400 – 21% below the workforce average. Average creative income is $18,800 – down by 19% since the last survey.

Artists of non-English speaking background account for 10% of artists compared to 18% of the workforce.

Read more: Making Art Work

Creative Achievement Awards

The Creative Achievement Awards celebrate and reward the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and
organisations that have helped raise the global profile of the creative industries in NSW.

Nominations close 16 March 2018

This year there are three categories:
1) The prestigious NSW Creative Laureate. This award recognises an individual, team or organisation making a positive contribution to the global profile, growth and development of NSW creative industries.
2) The NSW Emerging Creative Talent award honours an individual, team or organisation emerging in the creative industries sector. The award recognises leadership, originality and innovation and offers support for future development with a prize of $15,000.

Read more: Creative Achievement Awards

Country Arts Support Program grants supports local art projects.

The NSW government has announced $17,458 in arts project funding to the Arts Upper Hunter's region.

The funding was part of the NSW Government’s CASP which is administered by Regional Arts NSW and the 14 NSW regional arts development organisations of which Arts Upper Hunter is one. Nearly $250,000 was distributed for 76 projects across the state. Recipients applied in 2017 for projects occurring in 2018.

Applications for projects in 2019 open in May this year so now’s a good time to start thinking about a project.  Arts Upper Hunter is happy to help develop ideas and applications.

Successful recipients in the Upper Hunter region are:

Clarence Town Public School: Canteen Paddock to Plate Mural: ($2,331)
In January 2018, Clarence Town Public School will employ a local artist to paint a mural with school children on the canteen wall. The mural will incorporate a 'Paddock to Plate’ theme to educate and inspire school children and highlight the area’s rural community.

Read more: Country Arts Support Program grants supports local art projects.

Figures of Difference

Opening the latest exhibition by Murrurundi & District Historical Society, Brad Franks, Manager of Muswellbrook

Regional Arts Centre said the small community was fast developing into an art clique in the Upper Hunter.

Around 40 people turned out for the opening and witnessed not only a complete change in art directions but also a revamped exhibition church hall now labelled by the museum as "Gods waiting room."

The event encompassed three artists' all emanating from the Wollongong University regions on the New South Wales South Coast.

Now a local, artist Jelle van den Berg has been joined by NSW South Coast artists Richard Hook and Leonie Watson.

"This exhibition will present paintings by three Illawarra artists who make use of the human figure. Its rationale is two-fold: to contrast some dramatically different approaches to working with the body in painting and to show how these varied representations also embody very different approaches to the medium and its history," Jelle van den Berg said.

Read more: Figures of Difference

Places and Faces in the Upper Hunter Photo Exhibition

Arts Upper Hunter is pleased to present an exhibition of photos by local photographers: Mandy Archibald, Didier Colstoun,
Emma Sparrow, Paula Stevenson, Elisabeth Titulear, Michelle Wiliams, Sue Joy and Patricia Taylor.

Please call into our office at 142 Bridge St, Muswellbrook and have a look. We are generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. However if you making a special trip please give us a call first, 6541 4776.

Photo by and courtesy of, from left - Sue Joy, Elisabeth Titulear, Michelle Williams.

Regional Arts Fund supports 13 new projects across NSW in 2018

The Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund will provide $316,550 to support 13 new projects in regional, rural and remote New South Wales in 2018. The list of successful projects encompasses a broad spectrum of art forms including music, theatre, screen, circus, visual arts and ephemeral, digital and public art.

Communities across the state including Bathurst, Lismore, Coonamble, Tamworth, Walcha, Armidale, Manning Valley, Albury, the Mid North Coast, Bega and Coonabarabran will benefit from this funding.

“The demand for the RAF continues to be very high in NSW and there are so many great projects that are unable to be funded” Elizabeth Rogers, CEO of Regional Arts NSW said. “This round received 50 applications and was very competitive due to the extremely high standard of the applications. It was great to see such a diverse range of projects from regional communities from all parts of the state,” she added.

For all the details please visit http://regionalartsnsw.com.au/

Media release courtesy of Regional Arts NSW.

Artstate moves to Bathurst for 2018 Festival and Conference

Bathurst was announced as the next regional host city for Artstate 2018 at the Artstate Dinner in Lismore. The announcement
was made by Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin, MLC, followed by a ceremonial handover and exchange of gifts from Widjabul Elders from Bundjalung country to the Wiradjuri elders.

Bathurst Mayor, Cr Graeme Hanger OAM, said the event offered a unique opportunity for the vibrant and diverse artistic communities in the Central West.

“Lismore has set the standard high for Artstate, but Bathurst can do it thanks to the talented arts practitioners in our region. We have Richard Perram OAM, Stephen Champion from BMEC, Tracey Callinan at Arts Outwest and Adam Deusien at Lingua Franca. I think we’re up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to Bathurst showcasing what our region has to offer.”

Read more: Artstate moves to Bathurst for 2018 Festival and Conference

Call for EOI Event Manager for Dungog Festival

Dungog Arts Foundation is seeking expressions of interest for the vital role of Event Manager for the
2018 Dungog Festival.

Dungog Festival, now in its fourth year, is seeking proposals for the role of Event Manager for the 2018 Dungog Festival, to be held on the October Long Weekend, 29 September – 01 October, 2018.

The Festival is community based and will broadly consist of such events as the Opening Gig at the Settlers Arms, Long Table Dinner, a Gala Street Parade, a Sunday afternoon and evening Street Party for the whole family, Sculpture on the Farm, Octoberfest, Film Program at the James Theatre, workshops galore and lots of street music.

Read more: Call for EOI Event Manager for Dungog Festival

National Art School’s Summer School

The National Art School’s Summer School is a wonderful opportunity to experience an intensive week of study in the
intimate studio environment of the campus led by professional artist-lecturers who are specialists in the fields of drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking and photomedia. They share their knowledge and expertise, providing guided exercises, demonstrations, excursions, one-to-one tuition and group critiques. Be inspired to develop your imagination, enhance your skills and create original artworks. Meet other art enthusiasts, listen to artist and curator talks at lunchtime, and join in social events.

For the first time and due to popular demand our famous Summer School is now offered over two weeks in January. So you can choose to do Week One, Week Two, or both. For more information and course selection advice speak to Public Program staff or visit their website.

Read more: National Art School’s Summer School

Play In at Day at Mt. Pleasant Public School

Arts Upper Hunter hosted a two day drama workshop at Mt. Pleasant Public School run by Tantrum Youth Arts’
James Chapman and Amy Morris. James and Amy worked with 27 Year 4, 5 and 6 students to devise a play for the school’s end of year presentation night. Entitled “There’s No Place Like Home” and loosely based on The Wizard Of Oz, the plot revolves around a somewhat catastrophic school excursion to Sydney. Many thanks to school principal Julie Black for her enthusiastic support of the project.

Photo courtesy of Mt. Pleasant Public School

Great Arts Trivia Quiz

As part of the Upper Hunter Arts Trail Weekend, Arts Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre presents
The Great Arts Trivia Quiz.

Date: Saturday 18 November 2017
Time: 7pm to 10pm.
Venue: Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Cnr Bridge and Market Sts, Muswellbrook.
Tickets: $20. Bookings are essential. Ring Arts Upper Hunter on 6541 4776 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join quiz master Mike Pritchard from ABC Radio Upper Hunter and comedian Ethan Andrews. Win prizes donated by local artists and craftspeople. BYO drinks and snacks. Tea, coffee and deli platters provided.


Speed Dating For Visual Artists Comes to Dungog

This is a great opportunity for local visual artists to spend seven minutes one on one with each of five gallery professionals.

The gallery dates include Elissa Emerson (Public Programs Officer, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre), Christopher Saunders (General Manager, Renew Newcastle), Rachel Saunders (Director, Gloucester Gallery), Brigette Uren (Cultural Director, Maitland Regional Gallery) and Ahn Wells (Owner and Director, Gallery 139).
The event will be held at Dungog RSL, Wednesday 25th October, 6.30 – 9 pm. The cost is $25 and there are only fifteen places. Please send an expression of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a link to online images of your work or three jpegs of your work by Monday 16th October.

Photo: Speed Dating event Muswellbrook.  Photo taken by and courtesy of Roger Skinner.


Regional NSW to Host Micro Music Festivals

Streets, parks and businesses in regional towns will come alive as part of a NSW Government initiative to take
micro music festivals to the bush for the first time.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today announced that Orange, Newcastle, Tenterfield, Tweed Shire, Wagga Wagga, Kempsey, Armidale and Mudgee will share $150,000 to host Live and Local events during 2017 and 2018.

“These events are a fantastic way of bringing local musicians, businesses and the regional communities together,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The Live and Local events, which could be held in shops, cafes or other public places will showcase local talent, and provide free family entertainment.

“There’s nothing quite like live music to bring people together and liven up their day.”

Read more: Regional NSW to Host Micro Music Festivals

Career support for film and TV producers in Regional NSW

A career as a professional film or TV producer has just become easier for people living across regional NSW thanks
to the expansion of Screenworks’ annual Regional Producer Elevator Program.

Now in its third year, this program provides the opportunity for regional producers to develop professional skills, to get access to key industry contacts and to help overcome the unique obstacles faced by producers living regionally. This is the first time that the program has been made available to all of regional NSW.

Screenworks’ Regional Producer Elevator Program has been successfully running in Northern NSW for two years with the generous support from Create NSW and Screen Producers Australia.

Read more: Career support for film and TV producers in Regional NSW

Create NSW brings immersive arts projects to life through first VR funding

Create NSW has announced the first recipients to benefit from funding for artists and cultural practitioners to
develop their skills and extend their audiences through immersive arts in the field of Virtual Reality (VR).

Seven projects representing a diverse range of artforms including theatre, dance, visual and digital arts were selected to share the $120,000 development fund. Of the recipients, three projects were chosen from the Western Sydney area, three from metropolitan Sydney and one from regional NSW.

Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey said that in line the NSW Government’s Create in NSW 10-year policy framework, the funding will encourage education around the emerging field, offering exciting opportunities for arts and culture across NSW for the future.

Read more: Create NSW brings immersive arts projects to life through first VR funding

That Little Expo Imagination Box Challenge

That Little Expo" is being held at the Singleton Showground on Saturday 2 December. In addition to an Art Exhibition
and Sale, artist shoot outs and market stalls, there will be an Imagination Box Challenge. Boxes are $15 each, which generates its own prize money. Themes "Songs" or "World Events in History". Lots of fun for all the family, and you don't have to use everything in the box. More details call 6572 1364.

Photo: Photos of artworks from a previous imagination box challenge. Photo courtesy of That Little Art Place.

On-Site Contemporary Dance Project

After intensive devising sessions, Catapult Dance director and team produced four short new works with students from
St. Catherine’s College in Singleton, Muswellbrook High School and Dungog High School. The two St. Catherine’s works were performed on August 17 and the Muswellbrook work was performed at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre on August 18. The Dungog work will be performed later in the year. Each school made a short film using elements of their dance works in local settings. Links to the films will be published in our October edition of Artsparks.

Image: Singleton juniors.

Read more: On-Site Contemporary Dance Project

Singleton Library’s History Week program

History Week has turned into History month at Singleton Library with a packed schedule of events sure to POP! in line
with this year’s theme – but there’ll also be a smattering of gold dust over Singleton's heritage and history as part of the program.

The celebrations will be officially launched with the exhibition ‘Locally Loved Collections’ on Thursday 31 August from 6pm, based around the POP! theme and focusing on popular culture collections covering everything from erasers to vintage Barbies and curated in Singleton. Wines and a selection of cheeses will be served.

The History Council of NSW will also present ‘The popular culture of long distance love’ when senior curator from the State Library of New South Wales, Alison Wishart, comes to Singleton on Thursday 7 September as part of the popular Speaker Connect program, followed by wine and cheese. The event will run from 5.30pm to 7pm.

Read more: Singleton Library’s History Week program

Scone Literary Festival is ‘making connections’ with young readers in the Upper Hunter

To mark national Book Week Scone’s flouishing writer’s festival has released details of their program dedicated to our
young readers and budding writers.  In this fast paced digital age the Scone Literary Festival committee is passionate about encouraging their younger audience to ‘maintain the page’ so will once again be hosting a pre-school program at Scone Library on November 10.

Scone Literary Festival President Jan Sinclair said: “We are really excited to be releasing the details of our kids program this week to coincide with Book Week.  It’s really important for children of all ages to experience the written word and to establish good reading habits from a very early age.  The sessions will feature two authors, Jess Black and Lynn Jenkins and illustrator Kirrili Lonegran.  The sessions will run back to back and be repeated so no one misses out and what’s more they are free to attend.”

Read more: Scone Literary Festival is ‘making connections’ with young readers in the Upper Hunter

On-Site Project Performances

Contemporary dance, film and original music will come together in short new works by young people from Singleton’s
St. Catherine’s College and Muswellbrook High School in collaboration with Newcastle’s Catapult Dance director and choreographer Cadi McCarthy, film director Ashley de Prazer, photographer Alison Laird, composer Zackari Watt and choreographer Angelyn Diaz. Performances are at 6 pm at St. Catherine’s College school hall on Thursday 17th August and 6 pm at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre on Friday 18th August. Entry is free.

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund and supported by Arts Upper Hunter.

Artstate Lismore 2017 Unviels Festival Program

Regional Arts NSW has announced the program for the inaugural Artstate NSW, a four-day event that will welcome an anticipated 200 arts industry delegates from 30th November to 3rd December 2017.

Initiated following the success of Artlands Dubbo 2016 presented by Regional Arts NSW, Artstate is a four-year program aiming to build on conversations, partnerships and opportunities for regional artists and arts organisations. The event will include a line-up of inspirational speakers alongside a multi-genre arts program showcasing the very best in arts from the North Coast region.

Chair of Regional Arts NSW, Stephen Champion said “Regional arts practice of the highest order is prolific in NSW but it still often occurs without recognition; particularly by reviewers and our urban counterparts. Artstate is set to change this by placing the spotlight on a different regional hub each year for the next four years. Artstate will also demonstrate that regional NSW is at the epicentre of national and international debate and discourse about the vital relationship of the arts to communities.”

Read more: Artstate Lismore 2017 Unviels Festival Program

Play in A Day at Scone High School

Tantrum Youth Arts Associate Director James Chapman worked with seven students from Scone High School’s Year 9 Drama
class to create two short plays over a whole school day and performed for the Year 10 Drama class. It was the second in this series of workshops run and subsidised by Arts Upper Hunter. Many thanks to Drama teacher Sam Schumacher (back left) for organising and participating in a great day.

Libraries Are Busier Than Ever by Mark Reedman

Libraries are no longer places you only visit to borrow books.

In addition to books, you can borrow DVDs, CDs and magazines. There’s free computer use and free wi-fi. There are video game consoles. There are local history resources. There are meeting rooms. There are mobile libraries. There are home delivery services. There are online services where you can download books, magazines, audio books and all manner of research. And these days libraries run a wide variety of events: story times for littlies, holiday programs, activities for people with disabilities, computer literacy for seniors, author talks, arts and crafts groups, exhibitions and guest speakers covering a range of subjects.

In 2014/15, NSW public libraries loaned 43.6 million items. There were over 35 million visits in person and 11 million visits to online services. There were also 74,000 events attended by 1.6 million people which averages out at about 22 people per event.

In 2013, the Australian Library and Information Association commissioned an independent report which found that for every $1 invested in public libraries there’s a benefit of nearly $3 for the community.

Read more: Libraries Are Busier Than Ever by Mark Reedman

Landscape Memories Opened

Landscape Memories got off to a good start on Friday night on the official opening with 50 guests and visitors at

the unveiling in the Murrurundi & District Historical Society's exhibition church hall.

Curated by renowned artist Hanna Kay, the exhibition entailed no less than 13 selected paintings and objects from artists as far afield as Muswellbrook.

"What a perfect setting for an art event," Brad Franks, arts centre manager for the Muswellbrook Art Gallery said.

He was commenting on the renovated Presbyterian Church hall which is used by the museum for exhibition and events.

"The sloping floor is really astounding, I must source its refence," he said.

The group of four painting on show from Brad created a lot of interest. If there was a viewer's pick it was the works titled Murrurundi.

Read more: Landscape Memories Opened

Record Funding Boost for Regional Arts and Culture

Through the new Regional Cultural Fund the NSW Government is investing $100 million into regional towns and cities to develop new and existing arts and culture projects.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, said this fund will help to attract major cultural productions to regional NSW by investing in projects that often miss out on funding to metropolitan areas.

“The Regional Cultural Fund will invest in new arts and cultural facilities and can be used to upgrade existing spaces including galleries, theatres, libraries, museums and halls.” Mr Barilaro said.

“As well as building and refurbishing facilities, the fund can be used to support projects that take exhibitions on tour and provide easy viewing access, no matter where people live.”

Read more: Record Funding Boost for Regional Arts and Culture

Singleton crochets into history with official notification of Guinness World Record

Singleton is celebrating its inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records after notification today that the World Record

attempt for the most people crocheting simultaneously is official.

A total of 604 people crammed into the Civic Centre on 29 April armed with crochet hooks and yarn, including Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore; Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen; and Upper Hunter Local Area Command Policer Inspector Joanne Schultz.

The final figure well eclipsed the previous record of 485 people set by the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Nigeria in 2015.

Singleton’s World Record attempt was the brainchild of the Singleton Crafters group, and organised with the assistance of Singleton Council as part of the Singleton Festival 2017.

Read more: Singleton crochets into history with official notification of Guinness World Record

Applications now open for RAF and CASP

Applications are now being accepted for the Regional Arts Fund (RAF), an Australian Government initiative that supports

sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia.

Applications are now being accepted for the Country Arts Support Program, an annual small grants program administered by Regional Arts NSW on behalf of Create NSW.

Full details for both grants visit Regional Arts NSW's website http://regionalartsnsw.com.au/

Upper Hunter Art Trail Weekend Taking Shape

Home studios, galleries, outdoor sculpture, museums and pop up exhibitions are some of the forty sites people can visit on
Arts Upper Hunter’s Art Trail Weekend on November 18 and 19. Towns on the trail include Maitland, Paterson, Vacy, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Denman, Sandy Hollow, Aberdeen, Scone, Murrurundi and, in an exciting turn of events, the Merriwa silo mural project is due to be complete a week before the trail weekend.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the Great Arts Trivia Quiz at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre on the Saturday night. With quizmaster Mike Pritchard from ABC Radio Upper Hunter, comedian Ethan Andrews, light refreshments and great prizes, it should be a great night. Tickets are $20 and strictly limited so start putting a team together now. Come along dressed as your favourite artist! (if you like)

Merriwa Silo Public Art Project

The Upper Hunter Shire Council is calling for Expressions of Interest from experienced artists for the development of a
high quality, large scale public artwork/mural on the Silos situated in Macartney Street, Merriwa. EOI close Monday 10 July 2017.

It is hoped the public art project will give the Merriwa community its own tourism product, having the capacity to reinvigorate and foster a sense of pride within the community and further, provide a significant tourism and economic boost to the area.

The concept for the work should focus on the themes of the local community including its historical and/or agricultural ties.

For all the details and to download an EOI documents please visit http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/your-council/media/public-notices/expression-of-interest-merriwa-silo-art.aspx

Applications now open for the Regional Arts Fund 2018

Applications are now being accepted for the Regional Arts Fund (RAF), an Australian Government initiative that

supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote communities in Australia. The program is managed by Regional Arts Australia and Regional Arts NSW, and is designed to benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities.

Funding for the 2018 round is available for projects commencing between 1 January and 31 December 2018. Projects must be based or delivered in regional NSW, with grants available in the categories of New Initiatives and Partnerships. The arts or cultural focus of the project can include visual arts, circus, dance, film, literature, music, theatre, puppetry, digital media and cross-art-form works. Projects are also eligible for multi-year funding for up to 2 years. In 2017, the RAF Community Grants saw support for 22 new projects sharing in more than $434,000.

Read more: Applications now open for the Regional Arts Fund 2018

Varuna Residential Fellowships for Writers & Illustrators 2018

Applications open on 16 June 2017 and close 30 July 2017.

Varuna the National Writers House invites writers and illustrators from across Australia to apply for a Varuna Residential Fellowship.

A Varuna Residential Fellowship offers writers and illustrators working across a wide range of literary genres and forms the gift of uninterrupted time and to develop a new work in an inspiring environment and a collegial atmosphere.

Read more: Varuna Residential Fellowships for Writers & Illustrators 2018

Beautiful Mechanism Series

Engineering excellence has come to Murrurundi in the form of the models from the "Beautiful Mechanism Series" which are part of the Art of Engineering.

Housed in the village's church hall exhibition centre, the objects are from Raymond McLaren's collection and shown for the first time in the Hunter region of NSW. Designed to promote engineering excellence, the 11 objects were negotiated by president Des Dugan with the owners, Andromeda of Moonbi, NSW.

"Used in the aircraft and automotive sectors, the working models include the Oleostatic Bent Axis Motor," Mr Dugan said. "Commonly known as the hydrostatic motor, it's purpose is to convert oleostatic flow as used in military aircraft for lowering wheels, opening doors. It is also used in aerospace applications . . . but we would have to shoot you if we told you where!.

Read more: Beautiful Mechanism Series

In Praise of Libraries and Librarians by Mark Reedman

Ray Bradbury typed his classic novel Fahrenheit 451 in the basement of his local library on a typewriter rented from the library at ten cents per half hour. Published in 1953, the novel imagines a future society that outlaws and burns books. Here’s my version of Bradbury renting a typewriter.

Read more: In Praise of Libraries and Librarians by Mark Reedman

National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

Date: Wednesday 24 May 2017 
Time: 11am
Venue: Check with your local library.

National Simultaneous Storytime, now in its 17th successful year, is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). It is a colourful, vibrant and fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Grades 1 to 6 and the pre-school Early Learning Years Framework.


Children connect with local indigenous culture as part of extra-special school holiday community project

Children at Singleton Council's Out of School Hours Care got a unique insight into Singleton's local indigenous heritage
at an event organised by the Singleton Community Garden and Singleton Council on Thursday 13 April.

Made possible through funding from Glencore, the Singleton Indigenous Heritage - A Youth Experience' project aimed to connect local children with the indigenous community by discussing and learning about indigenous culture directly from elders.

The event included a visit to Baime Cave guided by local elder Warren Taggart, as well as a tour of the bush tucker garden with Kevin Lomax.

Mark Ihlein, Council’s Director Planning and Sustainable Environment, said the children were also treated to a performance by Uncle Perry, an AboriginalEducation Officer from Kotara School, to teach them about the many different facets of Aboriginal life and culture, including language, music and dance.

Read more: Children connect with local indigenous culture as part of extra-special school holiday community...

Ethan Andrews Awarded NSW Government Young Regional Artist Scholarship

Singleton young comedian, Ethan Andrews, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship under a major NSW Government initiative
to develop emerging artistic talent.

Ethan will undertake a mentorship with leading Australian comedy producer Karl Chandler, consultations with arts business advisors and a period of creative skills development culminating in the performance of a self-produced one man show at the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and an eight day regional NSW tour.

Fifteen young artists from across regional NSW have been awarded $10,000 scholarships under the NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarships program.

"Devil Woman" to be filmed near Dungog

Three female Novocastrian filmmakers, Producer Catherine Williams, Writer/Director Heidi Lee Douglas and Director of
Photography Meg White are collaborating to make their film ‘Devil Woman’.  The environmental horror film will be filmed near Dungog throughout May.

“Devil Woman is about the power of nature and human conflict over the environment, and its dramatic thriller format will entertain audiences worldwide” says Douglas.

‘We are very pleased that “Devil Woman” is being shot in our area, as it continues our association with the making of Australian films, and showcasing those films via the Dungog Festival’ said Ivan Skaines, Economic Development and Tourism Co-ordinator at Dungog Shire Council.

Read more: "Devil Woman" to be filmed near Dungog

Upper Hunter Arts and Culture Info Share

Arts Upper Hunter hosted an Upper Hunter Arts and Culture Info Share with representatives from Create NSW, the 
National Association for Visual Art, Regional Arts NSW, Dungog Shire Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Singleton Council, the Upper Hunter Shire Council, Arts Upper Hunter’s board and community members from each LGA.

The day began with cultural snapshots from the four LGAs and discussion about arts and cultural issues facing the region.

After lunch, there were presentations from Regional Arts NSW, Create NSW and the National Association For The Visual Arts.

Many thanks to all who attended and especially presenters Ivan Skaines, Liesl Harvey, Carolyn O’Brien, Tash Taaffe, Elizabeth Rogers, Grainne Brunsdon, Gabrielle Eade, David Everist and Penelope Benton.


Dialysis in the Country

On April 9th 'Dialysis in the Country', was held to raise money for Kidney Health Australia and awareness about Chronic 
Kidney Disease. The event and art exhibition reeled in around 200 people.

Guests enjoyed listening to music in the countryside and viewing artworks by Brushed by the Soul - Louise Anderson. Ten canvases of different animals were on display each representing the individual personalities of Singleton's local dialysis patients and staff.

The day turned out to be glorious autumn weather and $3020 was raised for Kidney Health Australia.

Photo and story courtesy of Louise Anderson.

Singleton Festival 2017

From crocheting to bushrangers, this year’s Singleton Festival is a harmony of food, wine, art and music.


Planning for this year’s Singleton Festival is being fine-tuned as the community comes together for its biennial celebration of all things food, wine, art and music in the heart of the Hunter Valley from 29 April to 14 May.

A new look has been unveiled for the festival in 2017, with a packed program of events that will include a world-record crocheting attempt and a “Day of the Dead” on the trail of Singleton’s infamous bushrangers, Joe and Jimmy Governor (complete with visit to Joe’s gravesite).

Read more: Singleton Festival 2017

Upper Hunter Art Trail Survey

Arts Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre are investigating the possibility of an Upper Hunter Art
Trail Weekend. The survey is intended to help us see how much interest there is in being a participant and what a potential trail might look like.

It is hoped that the trail will include individual artists, groups of artists, galleries and other venues that can exhibit art located in the Dungog Shire, Muswellbrook Shire, Upper Hunter Shire and the Singleton Council region.

In the event you want to respond as an individual and also on behalf of a group you can complete the survey more than once.

The tentative dates are Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of November 2017.

The survey has now closed. 

Scone becomes a Boomerang Bag community.

Boomerang Bags is a community driven initiative tackling plastic pollution at the grassroots level. 

Dedicated volunteers, schools and community groups get together to make re-useable bags using recycled materials as a means to provide sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

You can become part of this movement.

Sew Scone holds a community sewing bee every Tuesday. They have the fabric and just need the people to sew the bags. To find out more call 6545 1306 or 0467 055 712 or facebook Sew Scone.

To find out more about Boomerang Bags visit www.boomerangbags.org

Photo and information courtesy of Sew Scone.

Upper Hunter artist Will Maquire exhibiting at Traffic Jam Galleries

Traffic Jam Galleries presents "Journey of Expectations" by Upper Hunter blacksmith artist, Will Maquire. This is an exhibition of forged sculpture,  emphasising "the solitary human figure, the way we as individuals move and react with the world we live in".

The space will be shared with Blue mountains Painter Tracy Dodds.

Exhibition runs: 2-23rd of March 2017.

Opening: Saturday 4th March 3-5pm, all welcome.

Traffic Jam Galleries – 41 Military Rd Neutral Bay NSW 2089.

More details: http://www.willblacksmith.com.au/

Image and information courtesy of Will Maquire.

Hooking into the record books

Singleton has successfully applied to contest a Guinness World Record in none other than crocheting.

The record attempt will be a huge event for Singleton and is open to everyone of any or little crocheting skills on Sunday, 30 April 2017.
People from near and far are encouraged to participate in the record attempt regardless of crocheting skills. We don’t need pros, we just need numbers!

It has been three months since the application was first made and Singleton Destash and Crafty Swappers coordinator Tracey Franks said it has been a tough secret to keep.

“We have been quietly talking about it but when I found out the application was approved today, I nearly burst,” Tracey said.

The plan is to break the record for the most people crocheting simultaneously in the one venue.

Read more: Hooking into the record books

Erwin Zehentner's launches "My Life In Boxes"

Last Thursday night's book launch for Erwin Zehentner's memoirs "My Life In Boxes" was attended by friends and visitors
from Aberdeen to Branxton, and an enjoyable evening was spent quizzing the author about the various aspects of his life.

He revealed that over the last 6 score and 14 years, he actively participated in 10 or so activities, ranging from High School Rugby[an almost champion team] to Racing Motor Cycles[ a Moto cross champion of sorts], Rallying and club motor sport to Sailing and Kids sport, culminating in one of them qualifying for the 2000 Olympics for the equestrian team.

He said, “When the kids grew up, I resurrected my career as artist, and picked up the pen again to write this guff and a whole lot of other things. The book was inspired by my Sister, who thought it may be advisable to write it all down before it all goes”.

Read more: Erwin Zehentner's launches "My Life In Boxes"

Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music welcomes Dr Wendy Brooks

The Board of the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music is pleased to announce the appointment
of Dr Wendy Brooks as its new Director.

Wendy has been actively involved in music education for some 30 years, teaching in primary and secondary schools in the outer western suburbs of Sydney, while simultaneously running a successful piano teaching studio.

 Since 2011, she has been lecturing and conducting research in Education and Music Education at both Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Western Sydney University. Wendy completed her PhD studies in 2015 at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, investigating
 music and screen media in the lives of young children, and maintains a keen interest in Early Childhood Music Education and its importance for future musical learning.

 Wendy has developed a strong association with the regional conservatoriums through her research and teaching activities with Sydney Conservatorium, and is keen to strengthen community involvement in music-making and learning.

For more details please contact the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music on 6541 4888.

Media release and photo courtesy of the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music.

Hit of history for Australia Day

If you have ever wanted to learn a little more about Singleton’s local history, then Australia Day is the opportunity to do just that.

Local historian, Pat Quinn, will provide a guided bus tour around significant local history sites on Australia Day.

Tours will leave from the community celebrations on the grassed area between the council car park and the Gym & Swim.

Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 6571 5888. Spaces are strictly limited.

For more information about Singleton’s Australia Day celebrations, visit www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/australiaday or contact the Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 6571 5888 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Media release courtesy of Singleton Council.

RYDON Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Arts Grant

Closing Date 6 March 2017
Decisions advised 20 March 2017
Funding available 1 Grant of $1000

The RYDON Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Arts Grant is a Regional Youth Development Officers Network (RYDON) initiative started in 2012, and provides an opportunity for young people to better understand and learn about Aboriginal culture through visual arts. The RYDON Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Arts Grant will help support the Hunter/Central Coast regions Aboriginal art development through targeted investment into opportunities for young people to learn from Aboriginal artists and art workers. The RYDON Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Arts Grant is open to Individuals, partnerships and groups.

For more details please visit http://www.rydon.org.au/


Art & Craft Expo a Success

The Art & Craft Expo held at the Singleton Showgrounds on Saturday 3rd of December was very successful
according to event organier Lisa Bendeich from That Little Art Place.

Lisa said, “We are sure a couple of thousand people came through the gates and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. We had 70 stallholders with various handmade products for sale.”

“The exhibition/sale had 281 art works for sale - we sold 15 works worth $850.”

“The stallholders paid $20 for their stall that was donated back to four groups, each group received $280. Some stallholders demonstrated how to do there art or craft, which attracted onlookers. We had two $100 prizes up for grabs for the best dressed stall they were won by Pat Rearden - Bonsai Art and Michael McClaund for Dementia Awareness. We also had Sunshine Rotary there selling badges for Polio.”

“That Little Art Place would like to thank everyone involved behind the scenes, stallholders and the public for the tremendous support shown.”

Photo by Clear Light Photograhy and courtesy of That Little Art Place.

Regional Arts Fund supports contemporary dance project in the Upper Hunter

Catapult Dance has been funded $15,000 to run the On Site project This project brings together a team of artists;
choreographers, a composer and a visual designer from Catapult dance, to work collaboratively with young people from Singleton and Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter region of NSW. Through an intensive choreographic process, participants will create a number of short, contemporary dance works with corresponding original music to be filmed at site specific locations. This project aims to engage young people in new dance and arts practice that links directly to the lived experience of their communities.

Read more: Regional Arts Fund supports contemporary dance project in the Upper Hunter

National release of Screenworks Createability films on ABC iview

Nine inspiring and heartwarming short films, produced as part of the Screenworks Createability initiative, have been made
available to view online this week via ABC iview.

Each of the nine films showcase an artist with disability living and creating in regional NSW. The release of this collection of short films coincides with International Day of People With Disability which will be observed on Saturday 3rd December 2016.

The nine films comprising the Createability collection streaming on ABC iview are: 

  • ‘Pearl Red Moon’ featuring Pearl Red Moon, a mixed-media textile artist from Murrurundi, Upper Hunter, NSW (Ep. 3)
  • ‘The Battle’, featuring Murwillumbah dancer Kayah Guenther (Ep. 1)
  • ‘Corey the Warrior’ featuring painter, Corey Stewart (Yuin/Bundjalung man) from Narooma, South East NSW (Ep. 2)
Read more: National release of Screenworks Createability films on ABC iview

Art & Craft Expo

That little Art Place is pleased to host an Art & Craft Expo

Saturday 3 December 2016

Singleton Show Ground.

9:30am - 4:00pm

The Expo is taking place to highlight talented people within our Communities as in each Community there is someone always doing art or craft, they are little hidden gems and should be showcased. We decided to make Singleton the host town and ask communities from a 60klm radius to join us. The expo has been well received and is building to be a great event.

There are three sections to this expo:- Stall holders, Demonstrators and an Exhibition/Sale.

Read more: Art & Craft Expo

Get insured through NAVA

Plan ahead for your exhibitions and projects in 2017. National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Premium Plus Membership provides arts practitioners with an affordable insurance package* which includes 7 types of insurance including public liability and products liability, and access to all other members' benefits. 

Great for professional artists, curators, installers, registrars, conservators and administrators! 

As a professional artist or arts worker, you may be required to have certain types of insurance to undertake projects, work on certain premises or teach in a range of capacities.

So contact NAVA https://visualarts.net.au/ or phone 9368 1900 for all the details.

*on application

Media release courtesy of NAVA

Arts Leading in Bleak Times - Emerging Leaders Panel

SAMAG, in partnership with Octapod and The Business Centre will present a conversation about building the capacity of our creative community and working together in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain environment for artists and arts organisations.


Date:                                 Friday 2 December 2016

Time:                                 6pm

Where:                              Catapult Dance Studio, 880 Hunter St, Newcastle West

Admission:                       Free RSVP here


Gina Fairley (Chair) Visual Arts, National Editor, ArtsHub

Jess Duncan, Program Manager, Beyond Empathy Moree

Gemma Parsons, Program Manager, Beyond Empathy Illawarra

Cadi McCarthy, Director, Catapult Dance, Newcastle

Amy Hardingham, Co-Artistic Director, Tantrum Youth Arts Newcastle.


Read more: Arts Leading in Bleak Times - Emerging Leaders Panel

Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music seeking Director

The Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music is a highly respected community organisation providing comprehensive music education programs and performance opportunities across the full range of early childhood, instrumental and vocal disciplines since 1997.

With over 700 students they are recognised as a valuable community resource, located in the newly restored Campbell’s Corner, a purpose built performing arts facility encompassing administration, teaching... studios and performance spaces.

The Conservatorium is seeking to appoint an experienced and motivated music educator / arts administrator to the position of Director. The Director will provide a high level of management in the day-to-day operations and strategic planning of the Conservatorium in musical, educational, marketing, events management and administrative capacities.

Read more: Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music seeking Director

2017 Country Arts Support Program (CASP) grants supports projects across the Upper Hunter

The NSW government has announced more than $17,000 in small arts project funding to the Upper Hunter Region region. The funding was part of the NSW Government’s 2017  Country Arts Support Program (CASP) which allocated $245,000 to 80 country arts projects across the State.

Successful recipients in the Upper Hunter region are:

Dungog Arts Foundation: $2,960 for Dungog Festival screen writing workshops. The workshops will encourage adults and young adults to develop storytelling skills and create a short script that could be developed for the screen.

Read more: 2017 Country Arts Support Program (CASP) grants supports projects across the Upper Hunter

Navigating Social Media for Visual Artists Workshop with Rebecca Rath

Well known Hunter Valley artist Rebecca Rath will be running a workshop at Singleton Library on Saturday November 12 for 
visual artists interested in developing their use of social media.

Using social media tools and platforms, visual artists have new ways to connect with audiences and buyers far and wide. And because these websites are free to use, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are quickly becoming as important to an artist as the paintbrush and palette.

The workshop will focus on Instagram.

The cost is $15 and attendees should ideally bring along their smartphone, tablet or a laptop that can connect to the internet.

The workshop runs from 10 am to 12.30 pm on Saturday 12th November at Singleton Library.

Artists can book a place by calling Arts Upper Hunter on 65414776 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Thank You Soirée

Whether it’s visual arts, craft, writing, theatre, museums or festivals, the cultural fabric of the Upper Hunter relies
  heavily on unpaid groups of people who come together to develop their chosen art form or cultural activity.

To acknowledge these groups of people, Arts Upper Hunter is holding a soirée at Scone Arts and Crafts on Friday November 11.

Guests will arrive to the cool guitar sounds of Dave Harvey and nibble on cheese and biscuits while catching up with arty pals. Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Cr. Wayne Bedggood will thank local arts and cultural groups and it’s over to young songwriters Samantha Bell, Eadie Limon and Maicey Limon for the world premiere of a new song “Their Love Grows”. Next, young Singleton comedian Ethan Andrews will have you in stitches with his unique comedy stylings. Finally, it’s coffee, cake and conversation.

Read more: A Thank You Soirée

Artlands Dubbo 2016 - Day Passes Released

If you've been thinking about heading to ARTLANDS but weren't sure, there's never been a better time to register with
the release of single day passes for Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October.

Full conference registrations are still available so you can choose the registration that suits you.

for all the details please visit http://artlands.com.au/

Writing NSW Access for Regional Writers Grant opening 21 November

The NSW Writer's Centre is delighted to announce that applications for the Writing NSW Access for Regional Writers Grants will open on 21 November 2016 for project taking place between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017.

The grants are awarded by the NSW Writer's Centre to help writers in regional NSW access professional development. Regional writers in any genre may apply for a travel grant of $300 to help them participate in a professional development event at an approved not-for-profit organisation. Professional development events can include workshops or seminars designed to further their writing or career skills.

Read more: Writing NSW Access for Regional Writers Grant opening 21 November

Joy of Singing Workshops with Brian Martin

Internationally renowned vocal coach and harmony master Brian Martin ran a series of harmony singing workshops in 
Singleton from 26 April until 3 May, earlier this year. He worked with the Singleton Singers, Singing in the Library, Broken Leg Youth Theatre Company and Singleton Theatrical Society to polish up their skills; and held workshops for students in Broke Public School, Singleton Public School, King Street Public School, Singleton Heights Public school, Singleton High School, and St Catherine’s College. He also ran two workshops open to the general singing public. In total, 162 young people and 38 adults took part.

Wendell Peacock of Singleton Council said, “The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Every group Brian worked with would love to him return for another workshop.”

Read more: Joy of Singing Workshops with Brian Martin

Play in a Day Workshop with Tantrum Theatre

Host by Arts Upper Hunter, Co-Artistic Director Lucy Shepherd of Tantrum Youth Arts ran full day workshop at Merriwa
Central School. Students learnt the theory of play structure and put theory into practice by creating a short play of their own. Many thanks to Neal Endacott at Merriwa Central School.



 Photo from left to right: Lucy Shepherd, Paige McConnell,  Maddilyn Blackadder, Teianna Taylor, Tarnisha Windsor, Shai Blackadder.



Three women went to China by Suzanne Archer, Hanna Kay & Sarah Tomasetti

This exhibition brings together the paintings, drawings, sculptures, assemblages, and frescoes that Suzanne Archer from
Wedderburn region of New South Wales, Hanna Kay from the Upper Hunter and Sarah Tomasetti from Melbourne have made in response to their encounters in China.

If you missed this exhibition at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, you can now see it at the Tamworth Regional Art Centre until 8 October 2016.

Photo: Cline-2,-mixed-media-on-rice-paper-140x280cm by Hanna Kay. Photo courtesy of Hanna.


3 Contemporary Dance Workshops

Hosted by Arts Upper Hunter, Cadi McCarthy from Catapult Dance ran workshops in contemporary dance at
Muswellbrook High School, Singleton High School and St. Catherine’s College in Singleton. Thanks to teachers Jason Foy, Rebecca Luscombe and Sarah Purnell for organising three very creative groups of young people. Thanks also to Amy Foster from Expressions School of Dance for use of her studio.

Photo: Cadi and participants of the dance workshop held for Muswellbrook High School. Photo courtesy of Muswellbrook High School.


New Pop-up Theatre

There’ll be a new attraction in the Hunter Valley later this year after local theatre producer, Kath Perry, opens a pop-up venue
in the barrel room at Kevin Sobels Wines in Pokolbin. The Hunter Valley Summer Theatre @ Sobels will present a variety of shows over nine weeks, following a Gala Opening on 28 September.

Perry’s aim is to provide professional entertainment for visitors and locals, alike. ‘We will be putting on six different shows over our first nine week season with performances mid-week, as well as at the weekends.  The aim is to offer people great entertainment and a fun night out with comedy, drama, a musical and even a play that includes wine-tasting.’

Kevin and Margaret Sobels are both keen theatre-goers and welcomed the chance to host the theatre. ‘We think this is a great idea and are keen to see it succeed’, said Kevin. ‘We have plenty of space in the barrel room at that time of year and it would be hard to think of a better use for it’, he added.

The theatre will be an intimate space, seating only 60 people. Lined by barrels, it will feature a flat acting area with raked seating to ensure everyone has a great view.  The design is simple in that there won’t be a front curtain or elaborate sets.  But there will be state-of-the-art theatre lighting and sound and the shows will be professional productions either touring from Sydney or locally produced.

Read more: New Pop-up Theatre

What's On

Do you know of a concert, festival, exhibition, performance or other event happening in our region we should promote?

Please let us know so we can help spread the word!

We promote events in the Dungog, Muswellbrook, Singleton & Upper Hunter shires.

Simply send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tax guide for arts organisations

Creative Partnerships Australia has worked with the Australia Tax Office to produce a handy guide to the formalities associated with receiving philanthropic income.

It covers:

  • the legal and tax requirements associated with receiving tax deductible gifts
  • terminology associated with giving
  • different types of tax deductible ‘gifts’ and their conditions

For all the details please visit https://www.creativepartnershipsaustralia.org.au/resources/tax-guide-for-arts-organisations/


Artslands Dubbo 2016 - early bird rates must close 12 August

ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 is Regional Arts Australia's Part Conference, Part Festival, All Arts event being held in Dubbo 27-30  October. Take advantage of early bird rates with $200 off registration for all bookings before Friday 12 August. http://artlands.com.au/

Arts Upper Hunter seeks a Community Representative from Singleton and Dungog

Arts Upper Hunter seeks a community representative from the Singleton local government area and a community representative from the Dungog local government area to sit on its board of management. Part of the NSW Regional Arts network, the board employs two staff who deliver a range of resources and services across four local government areas including Singleton and Dungog. The board meets four times a year in various Upper Hunter locations.  Travel costs are covered if necessary. Please email Executive Director Mark Reedman for an information pack at rThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Expressions of interest close Monday 22 August 2016.

Arts Activated 2016 - Pathways to Practice

The premiere biennial arts and disability conference in Australia, ‘Arts Activated’ showcases the accomplishments of people with

disability, as leaders, arts practitioners, audience and advocates, alongside best practice initiatives from arts and culture industry.

It has established itself as the must attend event for those interested in innovative practice and inclusive arts and disability programs. 

The conference fills the gap in the exchange of knowledge and ideas within the arts and disability sector, both nationally and internationally. As the leading conference in Australia dedicated to arts and disability, the event offers a unique opportunity for professionals to come together, share ideas and create stronger partnerships whilst being inspired by a diverse range of nationally and internationally recognised experts in the fields.

Read more: Arts Activated 2016 - Pathways to Practice

Enrol now for NAVA Online Courses Term 2

Due to popular demand, NAVA is offering our 7-week online courses in Term 2 starting on August 8.

Enrolments are now open. 

Tailored to artists and arts administrators these affordable courses led by our experts benefit your professional development. Learn essential practical skills including how to develop your business plan, the best ways to market your work, and how to research, plan and write strong grant proposals. 

Courses available:

  • Art Business Basics with Monica Davidson
  • Winning Grant Proposals with Stephanie nova Milne
  • Maximise Your Exposure with Brook McCarthy
Read more: Enrol now for NAVA Online Courses Term 2

Rebecca Rath exhibiting at the Galerie Belimage, Switzerland.

Rebecca Rath, from Pokolbin, has an exhibition at the Galerie Belimage, Switzerland.

Rebecca said, “The aim of the exhibition “Various Storms and Saints: paintings and drawings from wine growing areas of Hunter Valley, Australia and Tuscany, Italy” is to focus on Nature Sublime; both the beautiful and foreboding. A passionate environmentalist, my work seeks to document the importance of the landscape though my artistic sensibility.

The exhibition at Belimage will feature these current works together with plein air painting /drawings works from the forthcoming Italian residency at La Macina di San Cresci, Tuscany. I would like to compare and contrast the seemingly similar landscape environments of Hunter Valley, Australia and Tuscany, Italy through the works exhibited at Belimage Gallery.  

 My body of work over the last 10 years, since discovering en plein air, has constantly returned to this connection with man and his environment."

 Exhibition dates: 9 July to 4 September 2016.

Read more: Rebecca Rath exhibiting at the Galerie Belimage, Switzerland.

Artlands Dubbo 2016 - Early Bird Extended

ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 early bird rates until 12 August. That’s an extra 6 weeks to get $200 off your registration. There’s over

90 speakers across 4 days of conference and festival, you’ll have some tough decisions to make around which sessions to attend.

For all the details please visit http://artlands.com.au/

Media release courtesy of Regional Arts NSW.

NAIDOC Week 2016

3-10 July 2016

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The National NAIDOC theme for 2016 is: Songlines: The living narrative of our nation

 More information about NAIDOC Week 2016 can be found at http://www.naidoc.org.au/

The following is a list of NAIDOC Week 2016 celebrations around our region. In addition to these events, many schools in our region are holding special assemblies and/or taking part in art and writing competitions.

Please note, many of these events require RSVP.

25 June 2016 – NAIDOC Day in Gloucester. Read more....

Read more: NAIDOC Week 2016

Congratulations to Pearl Red Moon on being selected as artist for Createability 2016

Nine regional NSW artists with disability will star in short films as part of Createability 2016 - a project for professional

filmmakers to profile artists with disability living and creating in regional NSW. Createability 2016 is a Northern Rivers Screenworks initiative being delivered across regional NSW in partnership with ABC Open and the NSW Government.

Pearl Red Moon is an established textiles, digital and mixed media artist with her own gallery in Murrurundi, in the Upper Hunter region of NSW.  She works with textiles, fibres, beads and stitch to make wearable art, two dimensional art, adornments, handbags, and crazy, vibrant dolls.

Across regional NSW, the following artists with be profiled in the following regions:

Read more: Congratulations to Pearl Red Moon on being selected as artist for Createability 2016

Songwriting Workshop

In conjunction with the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music, Arts Upper Hunter is holding

songwriting workshops in Singleton and Muswellbrook. The workshops will be run by Newcastle singer/songwriter Amy Vee.

As a writer and performer, Amy’s credits include the APRA/ABC Publishing Songwriters and Composers Recognition Award, MUSICOZ Artist of the Year, and a string of ABC Newcastle Music Awards, as well as finalist placings in the International Songwriting Competition, the UK Songwriting Competition, LA Music Awards, Australian Songwriter’s Association Song Competition and the Independent Music Awards.

As a performer, Amy has toured internationally as a soloist as well as being a regular band member and vocalist for artists such as Groove Terminator, Tim Freedman and Jon English. She has opened for international artists such as Passenger, Newton Faulkner and Luka Bloom and Australia artists such as The Whitlams and Mark Seymour.

Places are limited and participants need to have some song ideas to work on at the workshop.

The Singleton workshop will be held on Tuesday July 5 at Singleton Youth Venue. The Muswellbrook workshop will be held on Thursday July 7 at the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music. The workshops will run from 10 am to 3 pm and the cost is $25. To register email Arts Upper Hunter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Songwriting Workshop

Winners of Singleton Council’s Waste Art Sculpture Prize Announced

Scone’s Dale Fitz-Gerald was thrilled to be named winner of Singleton Council’s Waste Art Sculpture Prize on Friday night.

Dale’s artwork, The Tree of Life – a 2016 Representation, was described as ‘magic’ by the judges and the win was a popular one among the artists and guests in attendance at the presentation at Singleton Waste Facility.

The sculpture’s base was a plough disc with more than 500 bronze and silver keys used to create the leaves of the ‘tree’ with the trunk made from an old wine bottle welded with reinforcement steel recovered from building trash.

Dale says the canopy of the tree, in its confused state, was an expression of the turmoil that the world is in, least of all the turmoil of our natural world as it tries to cope with the pressures of mans’ pollution.

 “Man, finally, is making an effort to care better for Mother Earth and this almost failing Tree of Life can be seen to be regenerating with new, strong and beautiful roots, searching downwards to nurturing soil to promote and sustain yet another cycle of life,” says Dale.

Singleton’s Ron Sampson won second and third place with Vent Fish, made from a sewer duct, and Insect Family, sculptured from knives, forks and spoons.

Hope Hardy won the adult artwork category with Utilzation and Fishy News, created by Jill Patterson, won second prize.

Young and very talented Brooke Smith won the youth sculpture prize with her ‘Pop’s Rusty Bits and Pieces’, a sheep created with paper mache and embedded with nuts, bolts and lots of other items she gathered from her grandfather’s shed.

Read more: Winners of Singleton Council’s Waste Art Sculpture Prize Announced

Do you have public liability and products liability insurance?

Are you an artist!?

Do you have public liability and products liability insurance?

Now might be the time to think about this...

In response to the great number of enquiries from individual artists requesting insurance coverage, Regional Arts NSW has partnered with Artsure by Finsura to develop an insurance package tailored to insure the risks of individual artists.

Read more: Do you have public liability and products liability insurance?

Arts Grants Available For A Wide Variety Of Community Groups

Applications for the 2017 round of the Country Arts Support Program (CASP) opened on 30 May 2016. 

CASP provides grants to arts and cultural groups, not for profit organisations and local councils in regional NSW for short term, locally initiated projects. The grants of up to $3,000 must primarily be used to employ professional artists or cultural workers. Projects can be in any art form including oral history.

Projects funded in the Upper Hunter for 2016 included: singing workshops, art workshops for children, Samba workshops for children, poetry workshops followed by a performance, welding workshop for rural women, and the Scone Literary Long Weekend.

Read more: Arts Grants Available For A Wide Variety Of Community Groups

Children paint up a storm at the Gloucester Gallery

The Gloucester Gallery presented four painting workshops for children with local Gloucester artist Tracey  
Murrell in the April school holidays.  

Tracey said, “The workshops were full to overflowing with young, enthusiastic artists who were tasked with painting and drawing their very favourite things from their imagination. While we decided ages should be from 5 to 12 and limit numbers to 10 per session, it seemed to work out more like age 4 to 14 with some sessions having 14 kids working away. There was the child "turning 5 in a few weeks" or "a big sister who is 14 and loves to draw". The kids all help each other out and the older ones were a fantastic help to the little ones. Lots of fun was had by all and some really wonderful works were created.

The young artists started by painting a few backgrounds and were encouraged to use lots of different colours. This resulted in some doing very random backgrounds and others something more formal. All the children were working with something in mind.

Read more: Children paint up a storm at the Gloucester Gallery

Screenworks announces Createability 2016 filmmakers

Screenworks has announced the nine regional NSW filmmakers that will receive funding as part of Createability 2016 - a project providing funded opportunities for professional filmmakers to profile artists with disability living and creating in regional NSW. Createability 2016 is a Northern Rivers Screenworks initiative being delivered across regional NSW in partnership with ABC Open and the NSW Government.

For the first time this year, Screenworks has also rolled out the initiative to the far corners of NSW by offering additional opportunities in four other regions. The successful filmmakers selected for these four regions are:

Read more: Screenworks announces Createability 2016 filmmakers

National Simultaneous Storytime 2016

I Got This Hat”  by Jol & Kate Temple will be read at libraries across the Upper Hunter on the Wednesday 25 May at 11am. 

 National Simultaneous Storytime, now in its 16th successful year, is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). It is a colourful, vibrant and fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Grades 1 to 6 and the pre-school Early Learning Years Framework.



Upper Hunter Shire Libraries - Aberdeen Branch, Moray St, Aberdeen. For details: Call 6543 7669, visit www.uhrl.nsw.gov.au


Cassilis (will be held 1st June)

Upper Hunter Shire Libraries - Cassilis Branch, Community Centre, Cassilis. For details: Call 6376 1295, visit www.uhrl.nsw.gov.au


Read more: National Simultaneous Storytime 2016

Knitters Guild Collection now at Singleton Library

Singleton Library is now the proud custodians of the comprehensive Knitters Guild collection, previously only available in Sydney.

The collection features all things knitting and crocheting and is available for the usual 3 week loan period. With over 380 books in the collection there
really is something for everyone!

This collection is available to members of Singleton Library as well as people around Australia through the Inter Library Loan system.

Library membership is free and to join you simply need to bring in some proof of address.

Singleton Library is fast becoming craft central with several groups meeting in the library to share ideas and chat.

Singleton Crafters meet every Tuesday night from 5pm and Thursdays mornings from 10am.

Knit & Knat meets in the library on the 2nd & 4th Monday of the month from 10am. Both groups encourage interested people to bring along a project they are working on.

Media release courtesy of Singleton Council.

Sparks fly in Gundy

Ten Upper Hunter Shire women from rural properties have completed a two day workshop in Gundy, welding
sculptures to express ideas around rural life.

The participants brought along scrap metal like horse shoes, barrel rings, rabbit traps, springs and old tools, and transformed them over two days as they learned to weld. Some of their sculptures will be on display at the Scone Arts and Crafts Centre during the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival.

A social outing and upskilling were the reasons Ellenor Nixon of Merriwa, an assistant manager on her family’s property who is studying Animal Science, applied for the workshop. “It sounded like a fun way to learn,” she said.

Read more: Sparks fly in Gundy

NSW Government’s 2016/17 Arts and Cultural Development Program.

Artists and arts and cultural organisations across NSW are invited to apply for a wide array of funding
opportunities under the NSW Government's 2016/17 Arts and Cultural Development Program.

The program will support visual arts, museums, literature, theatre, dance, music, regional touring, capital works and professional development for artists across the state.

Arts NSW invites you to learn more about the Arts and Cultural Development Program by attending an information session at one of the locations below.
The sessions covers the types of grants available, tips for a successful application and includes time for questions and answers.

Friday 29 April 2016, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Tamworth Community Centre, 3A darling St, Tamworth

Read more: NSW Government’s 2016/17 Arts and Cultural Development Program.

"Folk in Broke" Lineup Announced

Saturday November 12 – McNamara Park Broke 

 Returning on November 12, Lower Hunter Valley festival Folk In Broke has pulled together a fantastic lineup of Australian talent for its 2nd year.

Featuring acts across multiple genres including high energy Afro-fusion band Bakoomba, Australian roots ‘super group’ The Protesters (featuring members of Melbourne Ska Orchestra, King Tide & Watussi), Folk icon Liz Stringer, plus their very own busking comp co-winner & Australia’s Got Talent winner Fletcher Pilon, it’s sure to be an amazing day & night right in the heart of Broke Village at McNamara Park.

Read more: "Folk in Broke" Lineup Announced

Australia Council invests in the Nation's Arts Leaders

The first of a new suite of five leadership development opportunities is now open for applications from arts managers across Australia.  

The new program responds to the changing arts environment and is part of a broader approach by the Australia Council to support a dynamic and sustainable sector through flexible grant programs and targeted strategic development activity.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said investing in the development of arts leaders was critical to building the strength and artistic vibrancy of Australia’s arts companies, and that it would benefit the sector well beyond those who participated in the program. 

“The Australia Council has a long history of providing professional development opportunities to Australian arts leaders and organisations. This program responds to sector feedback and builds on the success of our leadership development initiatives over the past six years,” Mr Grybowski said.

Read more: Australia Council invests in the Nation's Arts Leaders

Singleton Festival committee appoints new chair

Newly appointed chair of the Singleton Festival Committee, Cr Dan Thompson, paid tribute to
outgoing chair John Drinan during the position changeover this week.

Like Mr Drinan, Cr Thompson will represent the Rotary Club of Singleton on Hunter on the committee and is looking forward to taking the annual event into the future.

“John did an exceptional job which has seen the event grow from a music and art event to an all -inclusive celebration of the arts, food, wine, music and culture of Singleton and the surrounding region,” Cr Thompson says.

“Singleton Festival is a chance to showcase the cultural side of our community and the 2015 event saw more than 30 events held over the three week period of the festival.”

Singleton Festival in its entirety is held every two years with a mini festival held in between the much larger biennial event.

Read more: Singleton Festival committee appoints new chair

Heritage projects to benefit from conservation funds

Community groups will soon be able to access funds for local historical research and heritage conservation projects in the Singleton area.

Coal and Allied has announced the creation of the Mount Thorley Warkworth Historic Heritage Conservation Fund with an initial commitment of $100,000, and $20,000 per annum from 2018.

Read more: Heritage projects to benefit from conservation funds

Upper Hunter Artist to Represent Australia

In September, a special First World War memorial is being created by an international group
of blacksmiths in Flanders, Belgium.

Upper Hunter artist blacksmith, Will Maguire, was invited as one of 25 master blacksmiths from around the world, to design and make one of 25 featured fence panels to surround an 11-tonne steel cenotaph that will be erected near Ypres, Belgium. September's week-long forging event will involve more than 150 blacksmiths from countries including Russia, Japan, Palestine, Ukraine, Chile, America, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and throughout Europe. It is being coordinated by the Belgium Guild of Blacksmiths and the British Artist Blacksmiths Association.

In preparation for the event, Will has organised a community forging day on May 7 at his Elderslie workshop, near Branxton, for people to make hand-forged steel poppies that will become an integral part of the proposed memorial.

The memorial will stand as a symbol of reconciliation and unity for future generations, commemorating all sides of the conflict – those who died as well as those who survived. The project holds extra significance for Will as his great grandfather, Roy Hamilton of Singleton, fought with the Australian Imperial Forces 34th Battalion in Flanders during the First World War.

Read more: Upper Hunter Artist to Represent Australia

ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 Launches With Soul

ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 is a four-day conference and festival launched on 10th March by Deputy Premier
and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant, at the Sydney Opera House under the tagline, "Part Conference, Part Festival, All Arts." Early bird registrations for the Conference now open.

This biennial event will feature national and international keynote speakers and panels, facilitated forums, workshops, and discussions surrounding three key themes within the arts sector: regeneration, Connectedness and Emergence. Each theme will explore contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities through research, exploration, debate and collaboration.

Complimenting the conference is the ARTLANDS Festival that will feature a line-up of artists and performers never seen together in regional NSW right on the streets of Dubbo. Curated by festival director, Greg Pritchard, the program will include musicians Heath Cullen, Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Dave Mason & Brendan Gallagher and Radical Son. Internationally acclaimed Curator Djon Mundine will curate a new exhibition of work by regional NSW Aboriginal artists, Old Land New Marks, and regional physical theatre companies, FLiNG and Lingua Franca will perform their latest works.

Read more: ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 Launches With Soul

Harmony Day 2016

Harmony Day is on the 21st of March. It is a day of cultural respect for everyone.

Harmony Day celebrations around our region:

21 March – The Muswellbrook Library is hosting a multicultural story-time followed by morning tea. Read more....
21 March – The Upper Hunter Community Services is hosting a celebration includes multicultural arts & crafts, performances and story-time. Read more....
23 March –The Scone Neighbourhood Centre and Upper Hunter Shire Libraries - Scone Branch are hosting a "Share a world of Food". Read more...

Photo: Sheri Court Kriesch at front of dance workshop, photo was taken by Wendell Peacock and courtesy of Singleton Council.

Grieve Project 2015 Now Open Nationwide

Hunter Writers Centre has opened the 2016 Grieve Project writing competition.  This is a national prose and poetry
competition on the subject of grief.  Prose pieces are limited to 500 words, poems limited to 36 lines.  The competition closes on 26 June.

More than 100 works will be published in the 2016 anthology, which will be launched in August, National Grief Awareness Month.

 In addition, HWC will award $5000 in prizes, with first place receiving $1500.  The judges for the 2016 competition include:

Read more: Grieve Project 2015 Now Open Nationwide

Enthusiastic people invited to join Singleton Festival committee

The chairperson for the past two Singleton Festivals, John Drinan, is stepping down from his position.

The hunt is now on for a replacement and Mr Drinan assures the incoming chair that they are in for a rewarding experience.

A meeting will be held at the Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on Wednesday 23 March at 2.30pm for anyone interested in getting involved with Singleton Festival. Those wishing to complete an expression of interest form are welcome to do so by contacting the VIEC on 02 6571 5888.

Read more: Enthusiastic people invited to join Singleton Festival committee

Createability 2016

Now open for Upper Hunter filmmakers and artists with disabilities - applications close 10 March 2016.

Screenworks, in partnership with ABC Open and the NSW State Government, are proud to be announce CREATEABILITY 2016.

The key objective of CREATEABILITY 2016 is to provide funded opportunities for professional filmmakers to profile artists with disabilities living and creating in Regional NSW.

Locally in the Northern Rivers, Screenworks will double its funding in the project to bring the total to 5 films plus an educational video. Five local filmmakers will each receive $4,000 funding to be used to profile Northern Rivers artists with disability. Screenworks will also contract a professional production company to produce an educational video that explores captioning and audio description in short films.

In a first for the not-for-profit organisation, Screenworks will work in partnership with ABC Open, Screen NSW and other regional NSW arts organisations to extend the Createability project in to other regional NSW locations.

Read more: Createability 2016