Westside Acton Park. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

Westside Acton Park. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

Annual arts festival Art, Not Apart is set to take place on Saturday 18 March, but organisers have had to deal with the closure of major venue Westside Acton Park in planning this year’s event.

The shipping container village on Lake Burley Griffin has had a troubled run since it first opened in 2015, but Art, Not Apart have consistently filled the venue with attendees to the annual exhibitions and after party F-ck Art, Let’s Party.

Westside Acton Park will not be dismantled until April, but food vendors have already vacated the premises so the space has little to offer.

An empty shipping container village as food vendors shut up shop. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

An empty shipping container village as food vendors shut up shop. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

Event organisers settled upon expanding into the Australian National University in order to promote further student involvement whilst making good use of the world class facilities that the University has to offer.

Festival marketing and compliance director Michael Liu explains the changes.

“The spread to the National Film and Sound Archive is part of a larger long-term vision to see the festival sprawl into the city over the next few years, including locations such as ANU and City West,” Liu said.

Location for Art, Not Apart's expansion, the National Film and Sound Archive. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

Location for Art, Not Apart’s expansion, the National Film and Sound Archive. Photo by Mitchell Keenan

The after party, F-ck Art, Let’s Party has been relocated to a warehouse in Fyshwick for this year’s edition, with a number of local DJ’s and promoters being involved.

“Due to the commercial nature of the location we can go much later than our 11pm sound curfew at Westside,” Liu said. “Not to mention there are two stages this year and we’ve brought on local music collectives UniVibes and Escape Ferocity to present the party, leveraging their expertise and followers.”

There will be a free bus loop from the National Film and Sound Archive to the CBD, and then Fyshwick running from 9:30pm until 5am.

The festival looks to showcase a whole range of art forms, from dance, to live art, to traditional forms of art such as paintings and sculptures that will be sprawled through the suburb of New Acton and surrounding areas.

“The point of ANA has always been to unite Canberra’s diverse cross-section of contemporary artists for one huge day celebrating and exploring the arts. This year we received over 120 applications,” Liu said.

Since its creation in 2011, Art, Not Apart has seen over 40,000 people enjoying the multiple forms of art on offer, and numbers have grown each year with the upcoming event expected to have an attendance of at least 15,000 people.

Story by Mitchell Keenan

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