TiNA Access and Inclusion Program

As part of Octapod’s commitment to supporting access and inclusion into the arts for people with a disability, we have put together this handy This is Not Art Access and Inclusion Program, highlighting some of the events that contain content relevant to disability, mental health and social inclusion topics, as well as some mobility tips and information about venue access and available accessible toilets.

This is Not Art (TiNA) is a multi-art form cultural festival which is made up of over 150 events. These events range from panel discussions, workshops to performances and parties.  Each one is created, delivered, exhibited and/or performed by emerging artists experimenting in writing, theatre, spoken word and critical concepts. 1 – 4 October. Look out for the black balloons in Newcastle East.

Venue access at TiNA

TiNA’s three major venues (Staple Manor/48 Watt at 48 Watt St, The Lock Up at 90 Hunter St and Crack House/Circus Avalon at 137 Hunter Street Newcastle) are wheelchair accessible. As are some other venues: Newcastle Museum at 6 Workshop Way, Newcastle Library on Laman Street, and the Elderly Citizens Centre at Laing St, Newcastle.

Our TiNA Access Guide includes comprehensive information about venue access, a public toilet guide, and information about accessible public transport. Download a pdf version or a Word version.

Access and Inclusion Content (Hot Tips for the Weekend)

Some events which are highlighted in the Access Program contain content relevant to disability, mental health and social inclusion topics.

Visit the TiNA website for the full festival program, but in the meantime, here are some of our top picks for an inclusive and accessible festival weekend!



RE:Location (Exhibition)

Critical Animals

Every day, 10am – 4pm

The Lock Up, 90 Hunter St

RE:Location is a group exhibition that expands the walls of the gallery to envelope a wider context; imaging what is different, other – the non-hegemonic.  Curated by Laura Hanlon, the exhibition features new and recent works by a number of talented artists.


Mental Health and Writing (Panel Discussion)

National Young Writers Festival

12 – 1pm

Staple Manor, 48 Watt Street

It’s long been romanticised in the writing community, but what are the realities of mental illness?


Australian Poetry Slam: Newcastle Finals (Performance)

National Young Writers Festival

7 – 9pm

Newcastle Regional Library, Laman St

16 writers speak, scream, howl, whisper – even sing their words in the Australian Poetry Slam Newcastle Final. With a mix of sweat-breaking nerves and heart pounding passion, writers from across the Hunter region get a microphone, a live audience and just two minutes to spit their verbal masterworks. If you join the raucous, finger-snapping, audience, you may get a Sharpie and a score-card. Judges are chosen randomly from the crowd.



Zine Zone (Workshop)

National Young Writers Festival

10am – 12pm

Staple Manor, 48 Watt St

Get your Sharpies ready! Come to the zine zone to make a mini zine in a quiet and safe environment. Become a self-published artist as you create a zine to share and trade with pals. There will be a selection of zines available to browse and inspire. Connector pens provided.

Augmentation Lab (Performance)

Crack Theatre Festival


Elderly Citizens Centre, Laing St

Augmentation Open Studio: Enhance the human body. Merge with technology. Observe sound artists and physical theatre makers explore Transhuman Augmentation.


Artifact (Interactive Performance)

Crack Theatre Festival

12 – 5pm

The Art Project, Market Square Mezzanine, 137 Hunter Street

500 personal artifacts & an invitation: give her a personal artifact, share its story and she will give you one of hers.

(Access for people using wheelchairs via Laing St)


WouldMan: Let’s Draw (Performance)

Crack Theatre Festival

3.15 – 4.15pm

Curve Gallery, 61 Hunter St

A one man show for everybody! Fuelled with blockbusting sketches! WouldMan is a one man show about the greatest subject in art, the human body – a symbol for the Tree of Life. WouldMan pose, WouldMan struggle, WouldMan enter the woods of the imagination, would an art hero turn his wood costume magic! WouldMan dress up, WouldMan imagine, WouldMan drift, between both past and present, between reality and fantasy.

(Venue not wheelchair accessible, small gallery space with shop front)


Comics with Friends and Strangers (Workshop)

National Young Writers Festival

4 – 6pm

Staple Manor, 48 Watt St

Do you like comics? We love comics! Come along to this event and we can all draw comics together. The gang behind Comics with Friends and Strangers (an award-winning monthly drawing night in Adelaide) are coming to Newcastle and encouraging everyone at NYWF to draw with words and write with pictures. Suitable for seasoned professionals and complete novices alike.


Writing about Trauma (Workshop)

National Young Writers Festival

5 – 6pm

United Service Club Newcastle, 55 Watt Street

How do we practice self-care when we write about trauma? Can writing about trauma work as a healing process?

(Venue not wheelchair accessible, two flights of steep stairs with continuous handrail)


Please Mind My Brother (Performance)

Crack Theatre Festival

8.15 – 9:50pm

Crack House, Market Square, 209 Hunter Street

Go down the rabbit hole of schizophrenia and family love. A true story about Sara and her brother.

(Performance space accessible but no accessible toilet open nearby during this performance)




Inclusive Practice, Community and the Arts Panel (Discussion)

Critical Animals

12 – 1.15pm

The Lock Up, 90 Hunter St

A lively panel discussion between local performance, writing and visual arts/design practitioners around social inclusion, disability and art making.


Literary Picnic and Zine Fair (Outdoor Fair Experience)

National Young Writers Festival

1 – 4pm

Foreshore Park, Newcastle East

Is there anything better than enjoying a good book under a leafy tree on a sunny* afternoon? The Literary Picnic is a jam-packed arvo of market stalls, performances, lawn games, book clubs, picnic hampers, discussion groups, colouring in, a pi_ata, the Zine Fair – just pull up a picnic rug and take in all that literary ambience.

*sun not guaranteed


Digital Poetry (Workshop)

National Young Writers Festival

2 – 4pm

Staple Manor, 48 Watt Street

What is digital poetry, anyway? Karen Murphy explains – and teaches you how to use digital writing programs. BYO laptop


Augmentation Showing and Forum (Performance and Discussion)

Crack Theatre Festival 

3 – 4.30pm

Elderly Citizens’ Centre, Laing Street

Augmentation Showing and Forum: Join the discussion as artists show moments from the collaborative lab and discuss Transhuman Augmentation, Fear and Performance.


A Newcastle Story (Performance)

National Young Writers Festival

3 – 4pm

Newcastle Museum, 6 Workshop Way

In partnership with the Newcastle Museum, brilliant young storytellers delve into the town’s history: from lightbulbs to biscuits to coal.



Studio Bliss Designs (Sensory and Tactile Space)


16 & 17 Market Square Mezzanine,

Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle

10am – 2pm

Quiet Space

Should you require a quiet space during the festival please visit Studio Bliss Designs.  The space is designed to create a safe and nurturing environment for people with sensory sensitivities and it is also a tactile space suitable for people with limited or low vision.

Wheelchair access via Laing St entrance.


Tiny Dancer (Visual Installation)

Crack Theatre Festival

12 – 10pm

Distributed projections throughout festival venues

Tiny Dancer is a dance film project, presented in the fashion of moving pop-up graffiti art to capture imaginative inhabitation. Find all four films to follow their tiny stories.

(Street installations – unknown access information)


Coal River (Visual Installation)

Critical Animals

6 – 9pm

The Obelisk, Wolfe St

Coal River is a site-specific series of projections that intervene in the vectors of Newcastle’s historic space.

(Steep streets and pathways surrounding artwork, visible at night only)


George Brandis Art Experience (Exhibition)


Nana Gallery, 185 Hunter Street Mall

The George Brandis Live Art Experience is an ongoing community-based art project, protesting against changes to arts funding announced in the 2015 Federal budget.

(Installed in shop front window visible from Perkins St)


For more details regarding access and inclusion at TiNA, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 02 4021 1605 or access@octapod.org.


TiNA Information Booth

At The Lock Up, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle
Thurs – Sat 10am to 4pm and Sun 11am – 3pm


Want to print this information? Download it in either pdf or Word format.


For more information about what else Octapod is doing to support access and inclusion in the arts, check out our website.

Category: News
Region: Newcastle
Artform: Dance, Literature, Museums And History, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts New Media And Design,

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