What is believed to be the country's first permanent regional multimedia arts pavilion will open in Lake Macquarie this weekend.
The Multi-Arts Pavilion mima (MAP mima) at Speers Point Park will open to the public for the first time on Saturday after construction was recently complete on the $3 million project.
The lakeside venue has been equipped with state-of-the-art technology to host a program of cultural events year-round, including national and international contemporary art installations, digital art screenings, live performances and music.
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The cube-shaped building can be opened up to create a stage for performances, or remain closed for a more intimate installations. Soundscapes are featured on the outside as people walk past and at night time the facade is illuminated.
The space itself was based on a concept design by University of Newcastle architecture graduate Sammy Bailey, who won a competition among her peers.
Ms Bailey said she was thrilled to see her idea come to life.
"I just hope people like it and enjoy what's happening there," she said.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said the new pavilion complimented the existing parkland at Speers Point.
"This will be the focal point of the area," she said. "Being at the end of the promenade it draws your eye to it.
"We'll be able to do so much with this space and being right on the lake where so many people visit, coming in to summer this will be the place to be.
"Imagine coming down here at night time and seeing a live performance or an exhibition or screening a movie and having a picnic or a barbecue with the family."
The opening comes after a tough 18 months for the arts industry due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin said MAP mima would provide a cultural and economic boost to the arts industry in Lake Macquarie after a time of uncertainty.
"The past few months have been tough, particularly for the creative industry. This new space will provide an outlet for artists to express themselves in innovative ways, while allowing the community to come back together to enjoy and experience art and live performance," Mr Harwin said.
The launch program features 10 new commissions by Australian artists including Hiromi Tango, PluginHUMAN, Lottie Consalvo and musician Andy Firth. MAP mima will initially open for pre-booked visits. Sessions can be booked online through Eventbrite.
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