Our Work

We collaborate on one-off experiences or work together in ongoing partnerships to embed arts and culture into your community, group or practice.


This is Not Art – Emerging Arts Festival since 1998 

(infrastructure, mentoring, creative program management)

This is Not Art (TiNA) is an annual four day arts festival held in Newcastle, NSW, each year which provides a unique platform for emerging ideas and new works through an annual national artist call out. In its 21st year, TiNA continues to be the leading multidisciplinary emerging regional arts festival in Australia.

Octapod produces TiNA and oversees the infrastructure and festival delivery, stakeholder relationships, program development, communications, volunteer recruitment and management, best practice operations, collaboration and inclusion strategies.

In 2018, Octapod secured strong partnerships with local government and cultural facilities to ensure the festival continues to provide the critical opportunity each year for artists to share new work and ideas.

TINA 2014 YOUTUBE VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whcbs-jH6rw

TINA 2016 YOUTUBE VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0RIdwujiWk

Culture Hunter – Online Cultural Database

(resources, information, referrals)

Culture Hunter is the Lower Hunter regions online arts and cultural database. For arts and cultural organisations, institutions, venues and individuals to promote their events, programs, activities, spaces, exhibitions, performances, collaboration opportunities or jobs. In 2005 Octapod identified the need and sourced funding for a digital one stop shop for the regions sector and this unique arts and culture resource to share information has continued to keep the community abreast of all things art and culture.

Octapod uses Culture Hunter to advocate for and promote our vibrant, inclusive arts and cultural sector.


Inside Out – Artist Run Initiative (Maitland 2017/2018)

(mentoring, auspicing, consultancy)

Octapod developed a framework which enabled multiple access points into the arts for people with disability in response to a community consultation in Maitland LGA around arts access and inclusion in 2016. Our expertise in community cultural development and our commitment to arts and cultural participation provided a unique approach to one of the biggest social changes to occur in recent years in Australia, the introduction of the NDIS. Working in partnership with Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Accessible Arts and Ability Links, Octapod developed successful programs which enabled artists and writers to develop professional skills and confidence in their creative practice in peer supported environments.

Newcastle Artist Run Initiative – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tw1Zzgb__8

“Maitland Regional Art Gallery has made great gain in improving inclusive access opportunities on and off site, due in no small part to Octapod’s role in advocating Maitland Regional Art Gallery as an inclusive venue” (Brigette Uren, Cultural Director Maitland Regional Art Gallery)

“Inside Out would like to extend our thanks to Octapod. Through their initiative, support and expertise Octapod brought us together. They provided us with skills and encouragement and fostered a strong sense of solidarity. Within the welcoming surrounds of Maitland Regional Art Gallery many of us have formed the networks and friendships necessary to continue on our creative pathways. We are now organising our own events, exhibitions and workshops and are proud of our achievements. This would not have been possible without the collaboration between Octapod and MRAG whose vision brought together an enthusiastic and disparate group of creative individuals.”

(Debbie Van Heekeren, Inside Out Artist Run Initiative)

Smart Arts Creative Industries Mentoring Program (Port Stephens NSW 2016) (mentoring, consultancy, workshops, program development and delivery)

Octapod worked with Port Stephens Council Economic Development and Cultural Planning teams and The Business Centre (Newcastle) on the development of a program to support small creative businesses and creative practitioners to develop their professional skills, confidence and networks.

Octapod co-designed a community consultation to unearth creatives in the region and delivered a program of workshops and mentoring sessions over a five month period.  A successful Artist Run Initiative was developed as a consequence of the program.


Octapod can help you to develop your career. Whether you call yourself an artist, arts professional or a lover of the arts, get to know some new ways to make your practice, job or experience even better.

Octapod’s expertise in arts and cultural development have provided advice, resources and networks to dozens of artists, writers, performers, arts administrators, curators, project managers, community workers, business people and art lovers of all types who make up your sector. Join in and get to know us!

“With the support of Octapod, I have been given the opportunity to grow within my professional and creative practice. Confidence, experience, and a better understanding to the professional pathways for creatives. Without the support, encouragement, professional advice and a mentor to bounce ideas, ask a million questions and remind me of my capabilities I would have never realised my potential.” (Denise Duffy 2018, 2017 Newcastle Emerging Artist winner works on paper, Arts Facilitator, Workshop Presenter, Leader Inclusive Practice.)

“It’s a great thing you have going on at Octapod” (Ben Campbell, Creative Director Newcastle Music Collective)

“The mentorship has helped me in various aspects of my career.”  (Leeroy Chapman, Artist)

Arty Party (Cessnock 2018)

(consultancy, advocacy)

Octapod keeps connected with creative communities around the region as part of our core business. We partnered with Cessnock City Council on an event to engage Cessnock creatives in a conversation about the value of the arts and culture as part of Small Business Month.

“Octapod is the real deal, keeping the creative community informed and envisioned for stronger outcomes.” (Pip Sheehan Lowther, Founder Cessnock Creatives Catch Up)

Find out about more About what we do and why, and check out about some Case Studies.

Photo: The Birthday Party presented at Crack Theatre Festival as part of This is Not Art 2017. Photo: Mitch Lee