Artstate Wagga Wagga

Image: Wollundry Lagoon during Artstate Wagga Wagga. Photographed by Jackie Cooper. 

Artstate Wagga Wagga – Overview

The fourth and final Artstate took place in Wagga Wagga and was delivered in partnership with Reginal Arts Development Organisation, Eastern Riverina Arts and Wagga Wagga City Council.

This celebration of the excellence in art practice in regional NSW was far from what we had envisaged for the final iteration of the four year, hybrid arts event, with much of Artstate having to be recreated to abide with COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. In adapting to the COVID climate, Artstate Wagga Wagga was delivered both in person and online, so delegates unable to attend in person were able to join the conversation and celebrate the arts from afar via a livestream.

A global health pandemic was not going to stop the show! Artstate Wagga Wagga’s Artistic Director Scott Howie rose to the challenge to ensure that we would still deliver a fantastic showcase of the culture and creativity of the Riverina in 2020. The arts program kicked off on Thursday 5 November with the Opening Ceremony, Wagga Wagga: To Dance, To Celebrate which was created with local Senior Wiradjuri Elders and directed by Jonathon Jones. Over the next four days, the arts program would feature an array of live musical and theatrical performances and visual arts exhibitions including classical piano renditions, cabaret, poetry, large outdoor installations and more!

This year’s speaker’s program was built around the themes, “Walking Together” and “Shaping Tomorrow.” The keynote addresses were presented by Associate Professor Faye McMillan; Award-winning writer, Wongaiibon woman, wheelchair user Gayle Kennedy; visual artist Dr. Erica Seccombe; and Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company Rafael Bonachela. The keynote addresses were supported by a series of insightful panellist discussions where artists and arts workers from all over NSW shared their experiences and take on the themes.

Although Artstate Wagga Wagga was very differently from previous Artstates, it was nothing short of an exceptional showcase of the creativity, arts and cultural practice that takes place in regional NSW and an insightful and inspiring continuation of conversations from the past four years. The Artstate team are proud to have delivered Artstate as a fully COVID-safe event, and thank everyone for their involvement, attendance, and support to not only help us do so, but to make the final Artstate a great wrap up to a brilliant four years.

Press play below, to watch an overview of Artstate Wagga! 

Watch or re-watch the Artstate Wagga Speakers Program

Speakers Program Videos | Artstate Wagga Wagga 2020

Watch or re-watch the Artstate Wagga Arts Program

Arts Program Videos | Artstate Wagga Wagga 2020


Click here to view our Artstate Wagga Image Gallery


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Artstate Wagga Wagga Rapporteurs Report Final

More information on 8 Doors Exhibition

Go here to find out more about the work of the Parramatta Artist’s Studio and Wagga Wagga Artist, James Farley