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.
To create and maintain a cultural precinct that enriches the lives of residents and visitors.
Design, deliver and communicate cultural initiatives within NewActon.
October 2011 - March 2020
Art, Not Apart Festival, Sound and Fury Performance Art Party, Cellar Door Wine Market, Kids Cushion Concerts, and 33 other programs.
To promote sustainable fashion practices in a fun and educational format.
1 facilitator, 2-4 models, 15-40 attendees
2016 - 2018
A few times a year
To share Greek film, food and culture with the Canberra region.
To facilitate music and festivities throughout the course of the festival, with event managers and support staff.
6 films, 600+ attendees
Throughout NewActon and the National Film & Sound Archives (NFSA)
Outdoor cinema sessions in the NewActon courtyard for residents and visitors to unwind.
1 film, 1 band, 130+ attendees
2013 - 2015
Weekly during warm seasons
To present classical salon music with Canberra Symphony Orchestra ensembles in Monster Salon.
2-8 musicians, 100+ attendees
2014 - 2017
Seasonal, 4 shows a year
To showcase the world’s best performance poets alongside local writers in Hotel Hotel.
1 international artist, 3 local performance poets, 150+ attendees
2014 - 2016
To showcase underground digital art in the A.Baker Basement.
3 VJs, 3 DJs, 50+ attendees
2014 - 2015
A. BAKER Basement, Newacton
First Wednesday of the winter months of 2015, plus some extras
To regularly showcase intimate and improvised gigs with exceptional Australian
Design, deliver and communicate until 2020, handed on to RedBrick Coffee since
5-8 musicians, 100+ attendees
March 2017 - ongoing
To encourage reuse of clothes and household objects over waste and new crap with a twist on regular market stalls - perfect for apartment dwellers.
Design the layout and music and deliver in collaboration with Suitcase Rummage (national)
Up to 60 stallholders with ~1000 attendees per event
2013 - 2020
Cellar Door is a weekly wine and produce market presented with support from the Canberra District Wine Association…
A showcase of Canberra district wineries and producers in an iconic location.
Local Wine and Produce Market
Design, deliver and communicate Cellar Door.
6-9 stalls, 400+ attendees
July 2018 - Ongoing (paused due to covid)
Set in a prime location on the ground level of the iconic Nishi building, Makeshift is a carefully curated space…
A comfy cafe and meeting place, with occasional events at night.
Manage events and aid with fitouts until 2020 when it was handed over to RedBrick Coffee
A cornerstone of the NewActon Cultural Program, Kids Cushion Concerts are educational and entertaining performances…
Fun and educational concerts for 3-10 year olds, regularly presented in partnership with Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
Design, deliver and communicate the Kids Cushion Concerts from conception
5 musicians, 50 kids, 50 parents
April 2014 - ongoing
2 shows every school holiday period
Art, Not Apart is a convergence of creative Canberra, culminating in an enormous day of concerts, exhibitions…
To hold a mirror to Canberra’s culture by showing the ACT’s biggest program of contemporary local artists.
Design, deliver and communicate Art, Not Apart.
March 2012 - ongoing
2000+ artists presented to 100,000+ people over 10 festivals, including launching The Soul Defender, Sound and Fury, Extinction and tech-yes.