by bacarnold

Image: Zinzdi & The Zillionaires, courtesy the artist 

Sydney Festival - Hive Festival

19 to 20 January 2024
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

Join us at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre for two fun-filled days of hands-on art making, music, performance and play for children and families, Blacktown-style!

Make your way to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre by train accompanied by a kids’ led audio adventure. Share stories and learn a thing or 2 with First Nations Elders. Be immersed in our very first Makers Space. Be inspired by our young artists with the 2024 Young Artist Prize exhibition, alongside the 2024 Blacktown City Art Prize. Immerse yourself in architect and designer Noa Haim’s (Collective Paper Aesthetics) interactive paper-sculpture as it visits Blacktown from the Art Gallery of NSW.

And that’s just the beginning!

Created in collaboration with Claudia Chidiac and in partnership with Art Gallery of New South Wales, Hive Festival is presented as part of Sydney Festival 2024.

To check out the Art Gallery of New South Wales program on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 January, head to https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/whats-on/programs/hive/

Be at The Hive with Collective Paper Aesthetics will run until
Saturday 3 February.

Festival Schedule

Click on the tabs to unlock events.

Friday 19 January 2024

Image: Uncle Wes Marne OAM by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

Acknowledgement and Smoking Ceremony

Join local Elder and Bigambul man Uncle Wes Marne, and Wiradjuri and Gamillaraay young person Emma Hoskins for an Acknowledgement and Smoking Ceremony to kick start Hive Festival.

10.15 am to 10.45 am, 19 January 2024

Image: Weaving, courtesy of Tarni Eastwood

Makers Space with Tarni Eastwood

Join us for the launch of our new Makers Space!

Ngiyampaa and Guringai artist and weaver Tarni Eastwood has created an playful interactive installation that celebrates the cultural practice of weaving.

Touch, create, and be immersed in a sensory world of play.

10 am to 5 pm, Friday 19 January 2024
10 am to 8 pm, Saturday 20 January 2024

Image: Be at the Hive, designed by Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics, for and with the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Be at The Hive

with Collective Paper Aesthetics

Art Gallery of New South Wales is coming to Blacktown with Collective Paper Aesthetics!

Help build an immersive cardboard sculpture inspired by shapes created by native bees in their hives. Learn how to fold the shapes and join them together to form modular structures, like a growing ‘beehive’. The pieces include Braille and scratch-and-sniff ink for a sensory experience the whole family can be part of.

Culminating in the assembly of giant hive-like structures, this drop-in workshop is led by international architect and designer Noa Haim. Noa Haim has created projects for galleries throughout the world including the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, National Gallery Singapore, and Tate Modern in London.

Materials and instructions provided. Suitable for all ages. Children should be supervised by an adult.

Be at The Hive with Collective Paper Aesthetics has been extended to Saturday 3 February.

Image: The Village by the Kids, courtesy of Claudia Chidiac

Trains by The Kids

Attention all passengers! Welcome aboard Trains by the Kids, a self-guided audio adventure that will take you on a journey on Sydney’s rail network between the Sydney CBD and Blacktown Station, in either direction or return.

Board your train, take a seat, lean back, tune in and relax as, with each passing station, a new chapter unfolds, revealing sounds and stories of big cities, neighbourhoods and dreams.

This immersive audio experience has been created in collaboration with primary school children from inner and western Sydney, and is suitable for all ages.

You can start from St James or Blacktown stations, with a change at Central on the way. There are no set start times. The audio experience is free, but you’ll need to pay for your train fare.

This event is part of the Hive Festival at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. Find out more.

13 January to  20 January 2024

To access the audio, click on one of the links below:

Image: Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

Elders in Residence | Art and Yarn

Gather the whole family and get creative with local First Nations Elders.

Listen to dreaming stories with Uncle Wes Marne, take part in a drawing workshop led by Uncle Danny Eastwood, and join Uncle John Farrington for a series of crafting workshops for children and families.

11.30 am to 1.00 pm, 19 January 2024

Image: Garabara Dance Group by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

Garabara Dance Group

Join Garabara Dance Group for a special performance and workshop to follow the Welcome and Smoking Ceremony.

Garabara is a family group that proudly resides in Mount Druitt, consisting of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandchildren & friends from different Nations including Darug, Yuin, Muruwari, Yorta Yorta, Gamilaraay, Wiradjuri & Ngiyampaa.

10.45 am to 11.30 am, 19 January 2024

 Image: We Are Studios by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

Living Sculpture Gardens with We Are Studios

We Are Studios invites children and families to celebrate their relationships and connections through an exciting, hands-on workshop using recycled materials.

Play with scale, texture and shape to see who can make the most luscious, plant- inspired wearable creation!

To bring their gardens to life, participants can activate their creations through a movement-based presentation at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, 19 January
1:30 pm to 4:30  pm, 20 January

Saturday 20 January 2024

Image: Courtesy of Sydney Symphony

Emily Who & The Sydney Symphony

Don’t miss Emily Who & the Sydney Symphony as they return to Blacktown with an exciting musical adventure for the whole family!

Emily and a string quartet from the Sydney Symphony will take kids through a magical world of music, exploring the sounds of string instruments and how they work together.

Sing and move along to the music as you discover a world of sounds through the violin, viola and cello!

Featuring Emily McKnight as Emily Who.
String quartet: Fiona Ziegler, Leone Ziegler, Adrian Wallis and Jane Hazelwood.

10.30 am to 11.30 am, 20 January 2024

Image: Kisandu Jayasignhe by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

2024 Blacktown City Art Prize and Young Artist Prize Ceremony and Art Tour

Don’t miss the acclaimed Blacktown City Art Prize exhibition, showcasing finalists works from a mix of emerging and established artists from Blacktown, western Sydney and across Australia.

Alongside, the Young Artist Prize exhibition showcases works from artists aged 3 to 14 from Blacktown City, responding to the theme ‘Creating Cooler Cities.’

Winners of the Young Artist Prize special categories will be announced in a special prize-giving ceremony.

Then, experience a curated-tour of the Blacktown City Art Prize led by Young Artist Prize entrants.

Prize-giving: 11 am to 11.30 am
Tour: 11.30 am to 12 pm
20 January 2024

Image: The Pioneers by Anna Kucera 

Move with Pioneers Megacrew

Groove and move to the epic and unique choreography of Sydney’s number 1 mega-crew, The Pioneers!

Founded by dancer/choreographer Eliam Royalness in 2013, The Pioneers have made a lasting impact in the Sydney dance community.

Don’t miss this high energy performance to kick start our Saturday stage program.

4.00 pm to 4.25 pm, 20 January 2024

Image: Erth Encounter by Andrew Cullimore

Dinosaur Encounter with Erth

Get up close and personal with the incredible Erth Dinosaur Encounter.

Meet awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet.

Erth’s dinosaurs are unmistakably ‘alive’ in this fun, educational and unique performance. Watch wide-eyed from afar or dare to get right up close to these prehistoric creatures.

4.00 pm to 7.30 pm – Dinosaur Encounter with Erth – Roving!

4.30 pm to 4.50 pm – Dinosaur Encounter with Erth – On stage


Image: Lucky Lartey Dance Group, image courtesy of the artist

World Rhythms Unleashed with Lucky Lartey

Dance till you drop with World Rhythms Unleashed by dancer and choreographer Lucky Lartey; a mesmerizing and culturally-rich performance that brings together vibrant rhythms and percussion traditions from across the globe.

Lucky and the Jamestown Collective will perform original songs and choreography inspired by old Indigenous games from Greece, South Africa and West Africa.

Featuring Lucky Lartey, Yacou Mbaye, Pepsie Magonya, Byron Mark and Adjei Laryea.

5 pm to 5.30 pm, 20 January 2024

Image: Zindzi & The Zillionares, image courtesy of the artist

Zindzi & The Zillionaires

Join the world of The Zillionaires!

Blacktown Arts are so excited to welcome hip-hop artist Zindzi to Blacktown, alongside her delightful pals, The Zillies.

Zindzi & The Zillionaires perform upbeat songs of friendship, confidence, joy, and positivity, all set to a head bopping mix of RnB, pop, hip-hop and rap.

You don’t want miss it!.

6 pm to 6.45 pm, 20 January 2024

Image: DOBBY courtesy of Vyva Entertainment.

Sunset Session with DOBBY

Kids and families, this one’s for you!

Join Aboriginal-Filipino rapper, drummer and music composer DOBBY for special family-style performance to close out Hive Festival.

Watch the sun set in Blacktown and enjoy some live music by one of western Sydney’s prolific Hip Hop artists.

7.15 pm to 8 pm, 20 January

Hive Festival is created in collaboration with Claudia Chidiac and in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Zindzi and the Zillionares and Sunset Session with DOBBY are presented by Vyva Entertainment and supported by the NSW government through Culture Up Late Western Sydney.

The Blacktown Arts Sydney Festival 2024 program is supported by Sydney Festival, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Blacktown City Council and the NSW Government through Create NSW.