Castlemaine State Festival celebrates daring imagination, courageous ideas and communal spirit. Every two years, our Festival centred on Dja Dja Wurrung country brings together people and their passions through a program of events that are locally anchored yet resonant with global voices and issues. We reflect on the world from our unique perspective – through the collectively shared experience of art and culture.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic our region urgently needs the experience of art to help aid recovery and reconnection. Drawing on the power of the ancient human practice of festival – to gather and rejoice in a feast of art – we are committing our 2021 edition wholeheartedly to supporting our collective re-emergence from this life-changing crisis.

We firmly believe the artists and arts of regional central Victoria will play a vital role in this mission and we are delighted to announce a new CSF COVID-19 artist relief project, WE ARE HERE.

We have been supported to commission a suite of bold new works by artists living in Mount Alexander Shire, Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire, Central Goldfields Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo – or projects created within those borders. The aim is to help turn the current devastating disruption of cultural life into a creative, imaginative force. This exciting initiative offers us the opportunity to commission four new performing/live art works and three new projection/lens arts works for potential presentation at CSF 2021. Performing/live arts commissions will receive a commissioning fee of $3,000 per project, projection/lens arts commissions $1,000 each.

We invite you to submit a proposal and look forward to your ideas big or small. Proposals for works at all stages of development are welcome.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED (from Wednesday 22 July 2020)

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.