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Creating Cities the book

4 September 2015 | Posted in: News


In 2008, Marcus Westbury returned to his hometown of Newcastle, Australia and found more than 150 empty buildings lining its two main streets. Three years later the world’s largest travel publisher, Lonely Planet, named it one of the Top Ten cities to visit in the world.

Creating Cities is about the unlikely events in between. How a failed idea to start a bar morphed into a scheme that has helped transform Newcastle, launched more than two hundred creative and community projects across Australia and is fast becoming a model for cities and towns around the world.

In an engaging, thoughtful and observational style, Marcus Westbury argues that most towns and cities are wasting their most obvious opportunities: the talent, imagination, and passion of the people that live there. In a globalised age, local creativity has access to new possibilities that most places have barely begun to grasp.

Westbury weaves a local story of how identifying and fixing small scale failures in Newcastle into a larger set of ideas and “why-to” strategy with potential applications in cities and towns around the world.

Creating Cities is an inspiring must read for creative people, civic and business leaders, town planners, citizens and anyone who cares about the communities that they live in.

Read a sample chapter here.

For details on where to buy a copy head to or download to your Amazon Kindle via this link.

Creative Talks with Lucy Tweed

3 September 2015 | Posted in: News


Renew Newcastle, in association with The Lock-Up, is excited to announce that stylist Lucy Tweed will join us for Creative Talks on Friday 18 September 2015.


Lucy happily admits that design and art flow in her blood.  Her father a painter, her mother a photographer/ceramicist and her grandparents were architects, food writers and sculptors.

After moving to Sydney from Newcastle via New York City, Lucy embarked on a styling career as in-house stylist at donna hay magazine that lasted 8 years. The pinnacle of this journey was styling Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Welcome to Sydney’ party in 2010 where Lucy worked alongside Sydney’s most significant and respected companies to create an event that would be part of the biggest Australian Tourism campaign for the US market at the time.

Lucy established a collaborative stylist studio, Cool Edies in 2012, with creative partner Jane Frosh, working on interior, lifestyle and fashion editorial and advertising campaigns in addition to event styling for a multitude of brands including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Life InStyle, Murobond and Renegade Collective.


Friday 18 September, 2015.
8.30am breakfast and registration
9.00am talk by Lucy Tweed

The Lock-Up, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle.

$5 per person, includes pastry, fruit and hot drinks and good company.

Head to to secure your seat.


Renew Newcastle presents Creative Talks, a series of breakfast lectures by people who are making a living from their creativity. Taking place on a Friday morning each month a well-regarded creative will be invited to speak for 20 minutes about the lessons they have learned growing their creativity into a commercial success. This is followed by an audience Q&A and the opportunity to mingle with local creatives from a wide range of backgrounds, over a stand-up breakfast.

Meet, greet and eat at Creative Talks.

Creative Talks is kindly hosted by The Lock-Up.

Breakfast is generously sponsored by The Newcastle Herald.

Filming is supported by VMG.

Creative Talks is made possible by the generous support of Newcastle City Council.

View past Creative Talks with speakers such as Ghostpatrol, Tess McCabe and Lucas Grogan here.

September Events, Exhibitions, Workshops

1 September 2015 | Posted in: News


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+ The Roost Creative presents Hunter Lunch & Learn.

A free monthly series of business development seminars for individuals and entrepreneurs. This month, the three Facebook features most business owners ignore completely and how they can help you sell without trying, hosted by Caylie Price and Marissa Roberts.
When: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Friday 18 September
Where: The Roost Creative, Level 1, 152-160 Hunter Street, Newcastle (enter via Market St)
Cost: Free, but registration is essential. BYO lunch.


Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 12.05.45 amGraham Wilson of The Carved Greenman has launched a new initiative within his space at The EmporiumMENTOR, a place where you can go to for one to one training in art and digital design including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, or Trimble SketchUp 3D CAD drawing.




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‘Feral States of Mind’ at NANA
Utilising soft sculpture and found materials Parris Dewhurst’s aesthetic draws on the raw beauty of the Australian landscape, natural worlds and tribal inspirations juxtaposed with accents of playful colour.
When: 5-26 September
Where: NANA window gallery, The Emporium, Perkins Street




NANA contemporary art space is now accepting proposals from artists for exhibitions in their window gallery from October 2015 – April 2016. NANA is an artist-run initiative located in The Emporium of Hunter St Mall. The space features 3 former shop windows that are visible to the public 24/7 offering fantastic exposure and unique exhibition possibilities. Visit and click ‘APPLY’ for more information.


140618-rn-pcMelissaWilson-19Are you looking for an outlet for your creativity? Fancy That, an artist collective store in The Emporium, is looking for a crafter/artisan/artist to join our creative team. In return for the wonderful opportunity to display and sell your fabulous creations four days a week all we ask of you is to contribute to the small rental cost for our space, and to cover at least one three hour sales shift per week. Small to medium size works would fit best. Please contact Colleen Madsen at for more information.

Good news, quick links (September)

1 September 2015 | Posted in: News

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The Roost Creative have flown the coop! A long-time Renew Newcastle project, The Roost are a co-working space that, over the last five years, has moved to five different locations throughout the CBD bringing lots of activity to each space they activated. Their most current home, Level 1 of the former Hunter Hotel on Hunter St Mall, will now be its permanent home with the organisation having signed a commercial lease with property owner The GPT Group / UrbanGrowth NSW. Now that’s something worth clucking about.

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Holly Marlin of Marlin Textiles has departed Stationmasters Studio on Scott Street to take on a commercial lease on Beaumont Street in Islington, opening her own arts & craft supply store, Fibre & Yarn. Keep an eye out for opening detail on the Fibre & Yarn Facebook page. Congratulations Holly!

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Former Renewer Courtney Collins has had her writing talent recognised by being awarded one of ten Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships which recognises mid-career artists in the fields of dance, performance, visual arts, writing, theatre and music. Congratulations Courtney!IMG_2772

Lloyd Kellett (formerly One Man’s Trash) has had one of his sculptures unveiled on the facade of Foghorn Brewhouse on King Street. Lloyd also has a sculpture that has been selected in the finals of the Newcastle Art Space Emerging artist prize 2015. Lloyd received a highly commended in 2014, so we are wishing him all the best for 2015. The show will be running from 12 – 27 September at Newcastle Art Space.


Courturier Tarese Klemens recently began occupying a new studio space in Stationmaster Studios, an historic terrace at 92 Scott Street that was previously home to a medical practice. Check out the video of Tarese moving in. Pic by Jess Epere.

Lake Mac Sitting

Dale Collier, interdisciplinary artist and one-half of RN project Hobotechno recently took part in a residency program at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery which saw him give two interactive performances during the exhibition ‘After Your Collection’. 


Primary school students attending after school art classes by RN graduate The Art Project were lucky to tour Renew Newcastle spaces devoted to creative practitioners that include illustrators, architects and animators located in offices at Market Square. Students were shown techniques in creating cartoons, digital animation and the process building design from preliminary pencil sketches through to final 3-D working documents and models.


Christine Rockley of Observatorium natural history illustration studio recently took part in a beginner’s taxidermy workshop in Melbourne, with the help of a Renew Newcastle professional development grant. Under the tutelage of experienced taxidermist Natalie John Delany, workshop participants undertook creating a taxidermy form using mice.

As Christine explains, “I have wanted to learn taxidermy for a long time with the aim of specialising in preparing Australian animals for illustration purposes. Finding someone in Australia to teach taxidermy is very difficult, so this course was a great opportunity. The workshop offered an invaluable and necessary chance to get hands on experience in preparing specimens. Even though this was just the tip of the iceberg with learning taxidermy. It’s opened up a world of questions and curiosity to go further.”


Creating Cities book launch & Bespoke TV series viewing

19 August 2015 | Posted in: News


In 2013 Marcus Westbury secured support via a record-breaking Australian crowd-funding campaign to produce a book about the ideas behind the award-winning, internationally replicated urban regeneration project, Renew Newcastle.

Two years later Creating Cities, a small book about big ideas for local places, has finally been published.

Join Marcus in celebrating this huge achievement with a Q&A, book-signing and a TV show viewing.

From 7pm, Thursday 3 September
Central Bar, 148 King St, Newcastle

Grab a drink and a spot on the balcony at Central Bar

7:30 – 8:30pm
Q&A with Marcus Westbury presented by Newcastle Herald journalist and founding Director of the Newcastle Writers Festival, Rosemarie Milsom.

8:30pm – 9.45pm
Marcus will be available to sign copies of his book (available for sale during the event) and for general high-fives and pats on the back.

Watch the first episode of Marcus’s new TV series, Bespoke as it premieres live on ABC1.

This special Marcus Westbury Launchapalooza is free to attend, but you’ll need to
register your attendance.

Our sincere apologies but there is no disabled access to the balcony area for the Q&A.

If you didn’t secure a copy of Creating Cities via the crowd-funding campaign you can purchase either a paper copy of the book or the e-book version here.

Copies of the book will also be available for sale at the launch event on 3 September.