The Outgames Arts and Culture Festival will launch in Wellington on Thursday, December 16 as part of the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames in Wellington.

The festival will include the largest ever visual arts exhibition by lesbian and gay artists ever held in New Zealand, along with performances, documentary films and cultural showcases.

The Arts and Culture Festival will also include day trips and evening tours to explore the country around Wellington, the opening and closing ceremonies and many other events.

Although the Outgames will take place in March next year, the festival launch coincides with the opening of All the Cunning Stunts, the first exhibition of the festival, featuring multiple artists.

Along with the Arts and Culture Festival, the Wellington games will incorporate sporting events, a human rights conference and numerous parties across eight days in March.

The first AsiaPacific Outgames was held in Melbourne in 2008 and was hailed as a success by those involved.

Next year the Outgames will feature 17 sports, up from 12 in Melbourne with the announcement last month of football (soccer) as the final addition.

The Outgames will take place from March 12 to 19 next year, with the Arts and Culture Festival running from December 16 until the end of the games.

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