Australia’s art sector maintains connection during pandemic

Junction-Arts-Festival-Prince’s-Square-Launceston-photo-by-Jacob-CollingsArtlands 2021 was designed as a hybrid conference model to adapt to different circumstances. Presented by Regional Arts Australia (RAA) from 1 – 3 September, Artlands redefines the idea of a national arts gathering as it responds to the shifting border closures from the impacts of the pandemic.

For over 18 months, RAA have planned Artlands to include an inclusive and accessible program for Australia’s arts and creative sector across regional, rural and remote Australia.

“We’re adamant that Artlands will redefine the idea of a national gathering. Our aim has always focussed on creating a region-to-region national experience that genuinely acknowledges “the space between” – no matter how big that space becomes,” explained RAA Executive Director, Ros Abercrombie.

This week RAA made the very difficult, yet necessary, decision to ask delegates and speakers not to travel to attend the Artlands program due to the continually evolving national situation and multiple moving components created by the pandemic.

RAA have continued to plan for a digital-hybrid Artlands program that also links into locally-based gatherings at regional hubs across Australia. This approach enables conference speakers and delegates to engage in the program from their home states.

Pending state-based guidelines, speakers and delegates can choose to gather at one of five regional hubs to watch a live-steam of the digital-hybrid program or they can log-in and engage with the Artlands program from their home, work place or studio. The gatherings are taking place in the following regional hubs:

  • Tasmania – Junction Arts Festival in Launceston
  • Northern Territory – Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs
  • Queensland – The Empire Theatres in Toowoomba
  • Western Australia – Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha
  • South Australia – Fabrik in Lobethal

“Our priority is to create a safe and successful experience for our delegates, speakers, supporters and partners. We’re focussed on maintaining a connection where the arts sector can inspire each other with their knowledge and ideas,” said Abercrombie.

Artlands is a three-day conference that enhances the Australian creative ecosystem. It’s a series of exchanges that links people, place and practice and emphasises the importance of regional and rural industries as drivers of cultural exchange and social change across Australia.

Presented by Regional Arts Australia, Artlands is made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Prince’s Square, Launceston – photo by Jacob Collings / Junction Arts Festival