Wagga Wagga has been announced as the host city for Artstate 2020, a celebration of excellence in Arts and Culture in Regional NSW presented by Regional Arts NSW and Eastern Riverina Arts.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts, the Hon. Ben Franklin MLC, made the announcement at Artstate Tamworth on Saturday evening with the event to take place from 5 to 8 November, 2020.

Mr Franklin said, “Wagga Wagga is the perfect host for the fourth and final Artstate. It boasts a diverse arts and culture scene and is a vibrant creative region.

“We are constantly amazed by the innovation and creativity in regional NSW and we look forward to shining a light on the Eastern Riverina region with a program that combines the best regional, national and international speakers for Artstate Wagga Wagga 2020.”

Julie Briggs, Regional Arts NSW Chair said, “Regional Arts NSW is delighted to welcome Wagga Wagga City Council as our local government partner and Eastern Riverina Arts as our co-presenter for Artstate 2020, as we return to Wiradjuri country.”

Wagga Wagga City Council Mayor, Cr Greg Conkey, said, “We are thrilled to be announced as the host region and local government partner of Artstate 2020. Artstate is a great opportunity to showcase our region’s cultural heritage and the many talented artists and celebrate the contribution of the arts sector within our community.”

Artstate is a four-year program presented by Regional Arts NSW which aims to shine a light on excellence in regional arts practice and to explore the exciting possibilities for arts and cultural development across the state. Artstate kicked off in 2017 in Lismore before moving to Bathurst in 2018 and Tamworth in 2019.

Artstate features a conference program with keynote speakers from around Australia and overseas which runs alongside an extensive arts program highlighting artistic talent from around the region.

The announcement was made at the closing dinner of Artstate Tamworth and featured a moving handover from Kamilaroi Elder Aunty Yvonne Kent to Wiradjuri Elders Aunty Isabel Reid and Aunty Cheryl Penrith.