Martin Ollman

NewActon Cultural Program

NewActon is an award-winning cultural precinct in the heart of Canberra featuring a wonderful mix of hospitality, residential and commercial tenants. Employed by Molonglo in 2011, Dionysus founder David Caffery initiated and rapidly grew the NewActon Cultural Program into a high-quality array of experiences for hundreds of thousands of people.

David’s background in cultural philosophy at the Australian National University imbues the program with a unique acceptance and investigation of modern culture in its countless forms. The program has integrated all types of art into architectural and hospitality settings through festivals, markets, kids and mature-age concerts, talks and workshops, exhibitions, screenings, health programs and dance parties. The program has supported the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and many smaller arts organisations whilst activating NewActon. During 2018 and 2019, Dionysus also managed a café and events space owned by Molonglo to activate the ground-plane of Nishi in tandem with Palace Cinema.

For close to a decade, the NewActon Cultural Program has been a constant offering of cultural diversity and community engagement for its residents and visitors – designed, delivered and communicated by Dionysus.

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To create and maintain a cultural precinct that enriches the lives of residents and visitors.

Roles

Design, deliver and communicate cultural initiatives within NewActon.

When

October 2011 - March 2020

Initiatives

Art, Not Apart Festival, Sound and Fury Performance Art Party, Cellar Door Wine Market, Kids Cushion Concerts, and 33 other programs.

Suitcase Rummage

Purpose

A twist on regular market stalls and perfect for apartment dwellers.

Size

60+ stallholders, 1000+ attendees per event

When

2013 - 2020

Regularity

Three times a year

Caitlin Welch

Greek Film Festival

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To share Greek film, food and culture with the Canberra region.

Size

6 films, 600+ attendees

When

November 2013 - ongoing

Regularity

Annually

Martin Ollman

Carols in Nishi Grand Stair

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To celebrate the holiday season and present choral music in a non-traditional venue.

Size

10+ performers, 200+ attendees

When

2013 - 2020

Regularity

Three times a year

Finn McGrath Weber

Melting Pot

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To regularly showcase intimate and improvised gigs with exceptional Australian

Size

5-8 musicians, 100+ attendees

When

March 2017 - ongoing

Martin Ollman

Courtyard Cinema

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

Outdoor cinema sessions in the NewActon courtyard for residents and visitors to unwind.

Size

1 film, 1 band, 130+ attendees

When

2013 - 2015

Regularity

Weekly during warm seasons

Old and New

Purpose

The re-launch of NewActon Pavilion after being devastated by fire in 2011.

Size

1 dancer, 6 circus performances, 8 performance artists, 23 musicians, 600+ attendees

When

November 2013

Digital Feast

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To showcase underground digital art in the A.Baker Basement.

Size

3 VJs, 3 DJs, 50+ attendees

When

2014 - 2015

Regularity

Weekly in winter months

Strings in the Salon

Purpose

To present classical salon music with Canberra Symphony Orchestra ensembles in Monster Salon.

Size

2-8 musicians, 100+ attendees

When

2014 - 2017

Regularity

Seasonal, 4 shows a year

Martin Ollman

Bloody Lips

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To showcase the world’s best performance poets alongside local writers in Hotel Hotel.

Size

1 international artist, 3 local performance poets, 150+ attendees

When

2014 - 2016

Regularity

Bi-monthly

Clothes Swap and Style

Client

Molonglo

Purpose

To promote sustainable fashion practices in a fun and educational format.

Size

1 facilitator, 2-4 models, 15-40 attendees

When

2016 - 2018

Regularity

A few times a year

Makeshift

Set in a prime location on the ground level of the iconic Nishi building, Makeshift is a carefully curated space operating as a cafe during weekdays and gun-for-hire event space on weeknights and weekends. Dionysus has been engaged to manage the venue and its operations whilst also developing cultural events for activation.

The inaugural Canberra Mod/Soul weekender was held over three days and nights on April 2018 a d featured the crème de la crème of Australia's Mod and Soul community. Some of Australia's best DJs and record collectors spent all weekend digging deep through crates of soul, ska and classic r&b vinyls - and of course, dancing.

Client

Molonglo

Martin Ollman