The Big Anxiety is a major new biennial Festival in Sydney. It launches on 27 September 2019 and runs for six weeks presenting a series of exciting projects and artworks across 25 venues, spanning mental health month (October) till 9 Nov 2019. Winner of the Best New Event at the Australian Event Awards 2018, the Big Anxiety Festival is a world-leading initiative of UNSW Sydney in association with the Black Dog Institute and more than 25 partners in the cultural, education and health sectors.
It encompasses 62 projects, 9 exhibitions and 8 Ambassadors across multiple creative platforms. Most events at the Festival are FREE or Low Cost. Be sure to book in advance so as not to be disappointed. For an event like this to run smoothly, they rely heavily on dedicated, reliable and enthusiastic volunteers. It's the volunteers who play an essential role to make this Festival come to life. If this is you, they'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form HERE. Volunteers will work across key venues at UNSW Galleries, Paddington; Customs House, AGNSW, MCA and in Parramatta. Be sure to indicate your preferences of site and days available on the application form.
Before heading for the event there are some online resources that may be of interest to you. The event organisers are aware that during the Festival, artworks, experiences and/or events may raise emotions, thoughts or feelings that need to be worked through or talked about. The Don't Rush Homeconcept is to ensure you don't leave the Festival feeling upset, distressed, concerned or confused. There are materials you can download on the page that may be of help, along with useful websites and contact numbers.
Filled with a host of events brought to you by artists, scientists and communities, it'll question and reimagine the state of mental health in the 21st century. A radically new concept runs through the fabric of this Festival in which every project is an open conversation that draws curiosity, awareness and action. It's rich with engagements needed for our collective mental health. Bringing it out in a big way, the aim is to cultivate empathy instead of stigma, fear and discrimination in a transformative program of art, ideas and empathy.
For program of events see HERE. From day one, there's a host of events to choose from, plus a Podcast Series that runs from 23 Sep to 4 Nov 2019 from 7-7.30pm. You'll find the full schedule via the given link. Listen to festival ambassadors, artists and advocates talking about a range of mental health experiences for 7 weeks during The Big Anxiety in partnership with 2RPH community radio. After broadcast all interviews will be available on the website.
Creative platforms include immersive media, visual art, conversation, film, multi-media, performance, poetry, song, and virtual reality to explore various ways to connect, hear and be heard; and to make change by breaking down barriers people experience and through building better futures.
Awkward Conversations - a series of 1 to 1 conversations in experimental formats; Empathy Clinics - self-reflection through a range of follow-up tools & resources; the S Word - Free special event held on World Mental Health Day (10 Oct) presents Lifeline's crisis support team who are up for anything you want to ask about; Edge of the Present - an immersive VR experience that cultivates future thinking; all this and so much more that includes highlights, film, art after hours and lots more. Be sure to check the website and start listing that itinerary. The Facebook page is also a good source for updates.