Help every creative take off or take a risk.
TiNA was set up in 1997 to support local emerging and experimental artists. We wanted to foster the creation of a vibrant arts scene in Newcastle, that would support and inspire audiences.
Through the last 25 years, first as Octapod and later as TiNA, we have been fostering a thriving arts ecosystem in the Hunter region by providing paid work opportunities, auspicing, mentoring, and showcasing opportunities like the TiNA Festival.
This is Not Art Festival
It's the big one. The place where artists get to showcase whatever it is they are passionate about. It's emerging. It's experimental. What does that mean? *Shrugs*
The rest of the year
We do as much as we can through the year to provide opportunities for artists and arts workers to get paid. Sometimes we do grants, sometimes we run workshops, sometimes we mentor producers to do cool stuff. Sometimes we just try and keep it all together with bandaids and blue tac because we are a not-for-profit and fundraising is hard.
Keeping it professional
There is an association that sits behind TiNA. It has a board and there is governance and bank accounts and all the other boring stuff you need to have to work with business and government. So we do that so our artists don't have to worry about it as much. We even have a strategic plan with a vision, mission, values and goals. Yep, like we said - super profesh.
Here is what Marcus Westbury's, who is one of our founders has to say:
Why is this This is Not Art? It's funny how these things end up happening. A few short years ago we did a search for a piece of shorthand that would save us from having to say "Hi, I'm calling from the National Young Writers Festival, Sound Summit, Electrofringe, The National Student Media Conference, Radioactive, The Oceania Indymedia Conference and blah" every time we tried to book a bed in a backpackers. We came dangerously close to calling it "The Newcastle Festival" or "Newcastle 2000" or something equally boring-sounding.
The name was never meant to be an argument starter. Just an in joke - shared with about a quarter of a million people who have seen the same big bit of graffiti on the way into Newcastle. It looks like the graffiti will soon be gone - for the first time in my lifetime it might end up being something more than a home for the pigeons and alleged satan worshiping cults. We thought about trying to get a heritage listing on the wording, but we are all rather busy - and it seems to defeat the purpose a bit anyway.
But it's funny, some people have taken the name very seriously. Is it or isn't it? Actually, we don't much care, we just find it interesting, and it always seems to involve people creating things. But it's funny when an arts writer, or a senior arts bureaucrat, or any number of others at the pub take the question much more seriously than we do.
Unfortunately, most of the government-subsidised "arts" in Australia seems to be the high culture equivalent of covers bands or classic hits radio - actors or musicians on a stage somewhere churning out the greatest hits of 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. So, the definitive word, for future reference, is that if that is art, this probably isn't.
...it's funny, some people have taken the name very seriously. Is it or isn't it? Actually, we don't much care, we just find it interesting, and it always seems to involve people creating things. But it's funny when an arts writer, or a senior arts bureaucrat, or any number of others at the pub take the question much more seriously than we do.