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Alter State Is Arts Centre Melbourne's New Disability Arts Festival Debuting This Year

Celebrating artists from Australia and New Zealand, it'll kick off with a launch event this November followed by a full festival program next year.
By Libby Curran
July 27, 2021
By Libby Curran
July 27, 2021

As Melbourne plots its emergence from yet another lockdown, the city has also got a new major arts festival to look forward to this year. As announced this week, disability arts festival Alter State is set to make its debut this spring, celebrating a diverse program of contemporary art and live performance by artists from across Australia and New Zealand. Alter State will host a launch event this coming November, before returning for its full festival appearance in September 2022.

Presented in conjunction with Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Access Victoria, the festival aims to highlight the fierce talent of local artists with disabilities and to share and celebrate a diverse array of stories. It's hoped it will also ignite some fresh conversations that'll help to shape the future of accessibility in the Australian and New Zealand arts space.

Mark Gambino

The festival's foundation artists include celebrated names like dancer and performer Rodney Bell, writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay OAM, and experimental performance artist Joshua Pether.

"I don't see the festival as only being a platform to showcase performances by artists with a disability," said Pether. "But rather, and importantly, a place where we can have conversations and spark dialogue about what we want to see for the future in our community."

More details about November's launch event will be revealed in the coming months, though it's set to include two significant commissions: one presented in collaboration with the Metro Tunnel Arts Program and another as part of the UK/Australia Season initiative (a joint project by the British Council and the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

Alter State will debut with a launch event in November 2021, with a full festival program to take place in September, 2022. Further details are set to be revealed in the coming months — keep an eye on the website for the latest.

Top Image: 'Meremere' by Movement of the Human, captured by Tom Hoyle

Published on July 27, 2021 by Libby Curran
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