HomeCairns Indigenous Arts Festival Unveils Powerful 2024 Theme: ‘Country SpeakingArtCairns Indigenous Arts Festival Unveils Powerful 2024 Theme: ‘Country Speaking

Cairns Indigenous Arts Festival Unveils Powerful 2024 Theme: ‘Country Speaking

The Cairns Indigenous Arts Festival (CIAF) is gearing up for its 15th anniversary in 2024, following a record-breaking 2023 event. The festival’s “Country Speaking” theme allows custodians to share insights into their connection with and understanding of Country. Cairns Indigenous Arts Festival Unveils Powerful 2024 Theme: ‘Country Speaking

Francoise Lane, CIAF’s Artistic Director, clarified that the Indigenous concept of Country encompasses 65,000 years of deep connections. Country encompasses physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental ties First Nations people hold with the land. It includes the living landscapes and the creatures nourished by it.

Lane stated, “Country speaks, always. The question is, are we listening?”

The 2024 theme launch comes after an independent research report assessing the 14th edition of the 2023 festival.

The report highly praised Queensland’s premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural celebration. A top market research firm found that the 2023 CIAF festival greatly benefited the local economy, community, and visitor appeal.

CIAF acknowledges the impacts and will prioritize artist accommodation and their needs in future event planning.

The festival introduced public workshops in dance, weaving, and printmaking, all of which reached full capacity and sold out. This initiative highlights that festival attendees are increasingly seeking a more meaningful and interactive experience.

The report found that CIAF generated a 96% local pride boost and enhanced Cairns’ destination appeal.

For artists and communities in the remote Cape York and Torres Strait Islands region, CIAF serves as an annual highlight, providing a platform to showcase their talents, connect with others, sell their artwork, and feel empowered.

In 2023, the festival attracted an attendance of 50,500, with 27,180 individuals participating in over 50 programmed events across four days. This resulted in a direct and incremental expenditure of $7,598,203 benefiting the local Cairns economy, with a further $3,411,401 benefiting the broader Queensland economy.

CIAF was also responsible for generating 27,230 visitor nights and a total spend of $7,382,710 by overnight visitors. The festival showcased over 500 artworks across 14 art centers, 58 market stalls, and nine independent galleries and artists. Several significant sales were reported during the event, including the purchase of Toby Cedar’s Nar (canoe) by Cairns Airport.

CIAF’s success extends to acquisitions by institutions such as QPAC, Brisbane, which acquired Cairns artist Susan Rey’s hand-painted piano, and the Sydney Powerhouse Museum, which acquired mixed media wall installations by Townsville artist Gail Mabo.

Francoise Lane highlights the 2024 program’s excitement, emphasizing Queensland’s unique cultural diversity, spanning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Scheduled for July 25-28, 2024, the festival will once again celebrate Indigenous arts and culture with the theme “Country Speaking.”

NICC = National Indigenous Cultural Centre – works with Walkabout Australia – we give you indigenous products, indigenous music, aboriginal art – news (we are your indigenous home… (IF you want bush tucker food at your next event / if you want indigenous entertainment at your party / expo / conference; if you want an indigenous gift shop / if you want walkabout australia merchandise = contact us… = https://nicc.org.au (AND = https://www.facebook.com/WalkaboutAustralia

IF you want some indigenous food at your event, expo, conference / party = do you want indigenous / aboriginal entertainment at your function – digeridoo, or indigenous dance, aboriginal gift shop OR = we can tailor a solution for your event (for a few hours or a few days / in a regional town of in the major conference centre. What indigenous food, music, fashion, gift shop – what aboriginal theme do you seek?…

Source: https://nit.com.au/06-10-2023/7968/cairns-indigenous-art-fair-announces-2024-theme-after-record-breaking-2023-event

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