The SheppARTon Festival has been successfully staged every year (1997-2011) and is regarded as a major calendar event within regional Victoria. It demonstrates that the region can successfully and enthusiastically support an event of this nature, as well as project itself into the broader context of other regional festivals. The diverse program achieves a balance between the innovative and the mainstream in a way that was calculated to appeal to a wide audience. There is an emphasis on mixing community created arts with professionally produced and performed work. In particular, the SheppARTon Festival has been successful in bringing professional artists to work with community groups in the development of new work, and this has ensured some durability of the SheppARTon Festival outcomes.
The SheppARTon Festival has played a major role in changing the face of the arts culture in the region by giving the arts a greater profile and acceptance. In fact, the Shepparton Festival has had an impact on the way SheppARTon views “itself” and is viewed by others. SheppARTon now hosts a strong annual program of touring professional performing arts events, so the challenge for the Artistic Director and the SheppARTon Festival Board is tailoring the program so it reflects the uniqueness of the SheppARTon Festival and of our region in a way that will attract local patronage but also patronage from afar.
The SheppARTon Festival has 45 separate events running from the 18th of Feb to the 18th of March.