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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Orange Festival of Arts collection online


A unique collection of 1300 photographs, posters, programs and documents relating to the Orange Festival of Arts has been digitised and added to the Central West Libraries’ Recollect Central West website.

from Orange City Council media 23 March 2023

The festival ran for about 20 years between 1965 and 1985 and became one of the largest of its kind to take place outside of an Australian capital city.

HISTORY: The collection was launched at the library.

Orange Deputy Mayor Gerald Power launched the collection at Orange City Library with former festival supporters and members of the Orange Regional Arts Foundation, which funded the digitisation project to the tune of $10,000.

“Orange these days is a very exciting place where community festivals happen throughout the year, but back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it was very different,” Cr Power said.

“This collection is a significant addition to the Recollect website and gives a valuable insight into a unique festival and a unique period in Orange’s history.”

The Orange Festival of Arts brought creative arts and cultural events to the region including experimental theatre, ballet, recitals, one-act plays and opera, and was sometimes controversial in its social commentary. It raised greater awareness and interest in the creative arts and was a major contributing factor in building Orange’s prominence as a vibrant cultural centre.

Recollect Central West was launched about a year ago to capture and share the history, heritage and stories of the region and is an important resource for the community.

It provides online access to a rich store of heritage material relating to Central West NSW, its people, places and events and is continually growing as new material is added by Central West Libraries staff and members of the public.

“I congratulate everyone involved in putting together this collection and thank the Orange Regional Arts Foundation for their generous support,” Cr Power said.

View the Orange Festival of Arts collection at Recollect Central West.