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Art in 'every nook and cranny' at new Art, Not Apart festival

Never mind shaking your booty, the Art, Not Apart festival team wants Canberrans to "shake their souls" at this year's event on March 18.

And the festival program, launched officially on Monday morning, is a wicked menu that looks inspiring enough to do just that.

The line-up includes gender-bending performance artists, a troupe of naked pianists, rehearsed and raw rhymes at a brand new Poet Tree and a 100m long collaborative street art project along Edinburgh Avenue. All underpinned by a festival soundtrack that includes authentic Romani gypsy music, electronica and hip-hop.

More than 200 performance and visual artists - and some who defy genre - will converge on New Acton and new partner venue the National Film and Sound Archive for the festival. This year's theme is 'Shake It Up'.

Festival Producer David Caffery described Art, Not Apart as "like holding a mirror up to Canberra".

"It's a reflection of local culture, this is like holding a mirror up to Canberra," Mr Caffery said.

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"Everything is available to view in one day - all beautifully presented, with world class gallery spaces, world class sound systems and world class cinemas for local artists.

"We'll have lots of performance installations all over the festival, you won't be able to take 10 steps without seeing something new and interesting on the day.

"You'll find something in every nook and cranny.

"It's a unique style of event, there's nothing really like this, we've moved away from the big stage festival concept and moved to much more granular, fine-grained and beautiful programming that's more about experiences."

Now in its seventh year, Art, Not Apart has united a team of curators across four streams: visual arts, music, performance art, and film and moving image. The festival gets underway at 1pm but the "let your hair down" parties hosted after dark will be a highlight, according to Mr Caffery.

Canberrans can choose from 1920s-themed moving performance art party Sound and Fury at the NFSA or F_ck Art Let's Party at a warehouse in Fyshwick, or both. A free bus service will be operating between the two.

"The fabulous Soul Records - serious vinyl collectors -  will be playing funky 1970s soul music records in the [NFSA] courtyard at night," he said.

"And some of the records are worth $5000 apiece - some of them you'll never hear again in your life.

"Then we have the ultimate after-party, F_ck Art Let's Party - or FALP as it's become known - and it's all about the location.

"It's a warehouse in Fyshwick and we're treating it as an empty space that we can dress up and create the perfect presentation for about 40 DJs, local electronic music producers and projection artists."

Art, Not Apart festival, Saturday March 18, across New Acton, the National Film and Sound Archive and Fyshwick. Free for all ages. More information and full program of events at artnotapart.com.