If we don’t have the information you’re looking for below – email us via the Contact Us page.


What is Octapod?

Octapod is an arts and cultural development organisation providing capacity building services to creative communities of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Cessnock. Octapod was founded in 1996 in Newcastle Australia, as an informal collective, and was conceived as a form of infrastructure to enable independent creative projects to get off the ground.

Today, Octapod does the same thing, we’re no longer provided internet and printer access and a shared working space – we’re the launching pad from which hundreds of creative projects have sprung across the years. You can find out more on the About Us page.

Where is Octapod?

Octapod is a service organisation servicing the Lower Hunter region – that is the local government areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Cessnock.

The Lower Hunter Region is around 2 hours north of Sydney Australia. The landscape provides an extensive contrast in environments, from highly urbanised areas, to mountain ranges to coastal environments.


Who funds Octapod?

Octapod is funded through diverse income streams including government grants, benefaction, membership and sales.

Octapod is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

This Is Not Art receives financial support from the NSW Government through Create NSW and the City of Newcastle.

What does Octapod do?

Octapod works on a diverse range of creative initiatives and projects, supporting the unique cultural fabric of the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Cessnock regions that comprise the Lower Hunter. Our overall aim is to support growth in the Lower Hunter’s cultural sector.

You can read more about Octapod on the About Us page, or more about what we do on the Our Work page.

This is Not Art Festival

What is This is Not Art?

This is Not Art (TiNA) is a four day arts festival that celebrates Newcastle as a leading creative city. As one of Australia’s leading emerging arts festivals, TiNA provides a national platform for experimental and emerging arts practices. The festival supports artists to take risks, experiment, and extend the boundaries of their art forms and practices.

TiNA began life in 1998 as the National Young Writers’ Festival and the National Student Media Conference. These two events took place in the week after the Newcastle Fringe Festival. With the addition of Electrofringe in 1999 and Sound Summit in 2000, the name ‘This is Not Art’ was adopted to reflect the very different but interconnected events.

How are TiNA and Octapod connected?

TiNA is produced annually by Octapod, and has been since it began.

Its important to understand Octapod produces TiNA, which means we make sure it happens, and we manage the overall delivery of the event.

The artistic direction – that is, the fantastic mix of rich creative and artistic experiences you enjoy each year – are developed by the arts and cultural collectives called the Co-Presenters.

The Co-Presenters in 2019 are National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF)Crack Theatre Festival and Critical Animals as well as special guests WE DON’T DANCE.

You can find out more about TiNA by visiting the TiNA website (external to the Octapod site).

Culture Hunter

What is Culture Hunter?

Culture Hunter was established in 2006 and is the Lower Hunter’s most comprehensive cultural database. Its a directory of events, individuals and services – a one-stop shop for all things cultural. You can upload your event or information about your services, completely free of charge, and we will contribute to your marketing strategy by promoting your information in our enewsletter and on our social media channels.

Who uses Culture Hunter?

If you are uploading content to Culture Hunter, you are a creative practitioner with an event or service in one of the following local government areas: Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens or Cessnock.

The directory gets thousands of page views per month, and we also send out an email newsletter as well as promote on our social media channels.

What does a listing on Culture Hunter cost?


Zilch. Culture Hunter is a free online portal produced by Octapod with funding from Create NSW. Creatives can promote themselves for free via this platform.

How do I find events I am interested in?

We’ve created a filter on the Events page to help with this. You can filter events by TYPE / ARTFORM / REGIONS / ACCESS and ENTRY requirements or by using KEYWORDS.

How do I add my own events, news or directory profile?

First, you will need to create an account, then once you are logged in, you will be able to add content. Add content by the 27th of the month for your chance to be featured via Octapod’s monthly newsletter, distributed on the 1st of every month.