ACU announces partnership with Clunes Booktown Festival

ACU has signed on as university sponsor of the 2023 Clunes Booktown Festival, cementing the University’s commitment to the arts in regional Victoria.

The festival is a major regional event and draws more than 15,000 visitors from around Australia and beyond. It features the country’s largest collection of rare, out of print and collectable books for sale and a vibrant program of author talks, storytelling sessions and live entertainment.

ACU’s National School of Arts and Humanities will take over the historic Clunes Courthouse for the festival, with high profile historians and literary experts headlining sessions on everything from the history of Russia and the Soviet Union to studies of fashion and femininity, to LGBTQI+ non-fiction, to telling the stories of children, migrant communities and refugees.

Ballarat-based ACU historian Dr Benjamin Mountford said the University’s partnership with the Clunes Booktown Festival offered a unique opportunity for ACU to showcase its arts and humanities scholarship.

“Clunes Booktown is one of the most exciting and important cultural events in regional Victoria. ACU’s partnership with Booktown reflects our commitment to regional arts and will bring some of the country’s leading arts, humanities and social sciences researchers to Clunes to talk about the work they are doing – which spans some of the really big questions facing us all.’

The partnership will also provide internship opportunities for students from the National School of Arts and Humanities, who will be able to get hands on experience working as part of a vibrant literary festival.

ACU Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts, Professor Mary Ryan said the University was delighted to sponsor the event for the first time.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to the arts in regional Victoria, we are pleased to be the university sponsor for this year’s Clunes Booktown Festival,” she said.

“The festival is a celebration of reading and writing, and the connections that great storytelling forges.

“At ACU, we see the value of the arts every day on our campuses, and the communities they are part of.”

Creative Clunes CEO Sue Beal said the organisation was thrilled to have ACU on board as a major sponsor.

“Not only does ACU have a local goldfields campus in Ballarat, but it is a university that is increasing its commitment to the arts and humanities in its curriculum and in its outreach programs. This is reversing the trend of most other tertiary institutions, and one we applaud,” she said.

“The diversity of the program presented by ACU at the Courthouse is of such breadth that every person attending the festival will find a panel or conversation that will draw them in.”

Clunes Booktown Festival will be held from 25 – 26 March 2023.

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