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Four Winds Executive Director steps down
After more than five years at the helm of Four Winds, David Francis, Executive Director, is leaving the organisation to take up the role of Chief Executive of Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.
Francis, whose career in Australia and the UK has been built on leading arts organisations in times of change, has successfully led the evolution of Four Winds from a long-standing biennial festival with a strong reputation to a significant year-round arts organisation. Four Winds Festival is now an annual event and is complemented by a Youth Music Festival in the spring, a year-round concert series and an annual artists residency program. The organisation has also developed a significant music education program, nurturing local artists and working with the local indigenous community.
The recent decision by Create NSW to grant four-year funding to Four Winds is a validation of its growing standing and its impact on the Far South Coast and beyond.
This last year, firstly with the bushfires and then with the COVID pandemic, has been demanding, but the organisation has come through strongly and is in excellent shape artistically and financially. A statement authored by Four Winds Chair, Michael Darling, credited Francis as shaping and leading the capable team who made this possible.
Reflecting on his departure from the role, Francis said: ‘When I joined Four Winds there was a palpable sense of energy around the organisation and this remarkable region. It has been wonderful to harness some of this energy to build Four Winds into the significant arts organisation it is today.
‘I can honestly say how pleased I am to see the impact on musicians, artists, audiences and young people who engage with our work. A great example of this is the recently formed Aboriginal Djinama Yilga choir. I am proud Four Winds is in such good shape and I know it has a buoyant future ahead. I look forward to leading another important organisation – Wollongong Conservatorium – to its next phase of growth,’ he said.
Michael Darling, Chair of Four Winds, said: ‘We will be sorry to see David go after more than five years at Four Winds. He has led with great diligence and flair. During his time he has built a great team of people with the skills and experience to carry Four Winds forward. His work with artistic partners and the wider community has been exceptional. We are very grateful for all the work David has done and wish him well in the next phase of his career.’
Four Winds will now begin the process of looking for an outstanding arts leader to fill the Executive Director role. The Board aim to identify this person in time for a handover period with David Francis before he leaves in May.
AUSTRALIA COUNCIL APPOINTS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ARTS
Franchesca Cubillo is a proud Yanuwa, Larrakia, Bardi, and Wardaman woman from the Top End of the Northern Territory. She joins the Australia Council with more than 30 years’ experience in the museum and art gallery sector.
‘I am thrilled to be joining the Australia Council as the Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and respectfully acknowledge the strong and visionary First Nations leadership that has come before me at Council, those who have championed, mentored and invested in First Nations artists, organisations and communities,’ Cubillo said. ‘I am looking forward to building on their remarkable legacies, to lead and advocate for First Nations arts and culture.’
Cubillo is the inaugural Chair of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, the inaugural co-Chair of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, Alice Springs, and has held numerous board and committee positions.
Australia Council Deputy Chair Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin said, ‘We are so pleased that Franchesca is joining the Australia Council in March. Franchesca has a deep knowledge and passion for First Nations arts and culture. Her leadership will support the Australia Council to continue to strengthen public recognition and appreciation of First Nations arts and culture.’
Chair of the First Nations Arts Strategy Panel, Wesley Enoch AM said, ‘Franchesca is a highly respected leader who has worked tirelessly to develop significant First Nations specific policies and programs that address Indigenous advancement, agency and self-determination. Franchesca has worked extensively across numerous cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the South Australian Museum, the National Museum of Australia, and the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, all benefiting from her unfaltering dedication to self-representation and First Nations story telling.’
Cubillo is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, has published extensively, and presented lectures and keynote addresses on subjects such as the repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture and Australian Indigenous museology and curatorship.
She will commence at the Australia Council in March, building on the impressive achievements of Lydia Miller, who is set to depart Council after more than 20 years.
METRO ARTS APPOINTS NEW GENERAL MANAGER
After ten years with the company, including working as Facilities Administrator, Executive Assistance and Development Coordinator, Brisbane’s Metro Arts has appointed Genevieve Trace to the role of General Manager.
Trace brings a wide range of knowledge spanning performing arts practice, philanthropy and law, along with intricate knowledge of the company. During her time in Partnerships and Development, she worked to garner significant support from both government and the commercial and private sectors for the fit out of Metro Arts’ new premises at West Village. She is a QUT graduate with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Drama) and Master of Creative Industries (Arts Management and Creative Production) and is in the final stages of a Bachelor of Laws (Hons).
Additional recruitments fill multiple Associate Producer roles, created by Metro Arts’ newly formed Emerging Producer Xchange program; a flagship mentorship program created by Metro Arts with the support of The Ian Potter Foundation.
Amelia Walker, Lamisse Hamouda and Peta Spurling-Brown step into the 2021 Associate Producer positions at Metro Arts (Brisbane) and The Mill (Adelaide). Their roles support the delivery of the organisations’ annual artistic programs, supporting artists in the creation, presentation and touring of new work.
Amelia (Milly) Walker is a producer and theatre maker in Meanjin/Brisbane. Having graduated from QUT with a BFA in Drama, Walker predominantly works on independent productions within her own company Chance Collective. Their most recent works include The Nest, Chance Collective’s Mystery Box, and One Last Climax. She is passionate about sustainable and inclusive practices in the arts, and in forging supportive relationships between collaborators, audiences, and the art itself.
Lamisse Hamouda is a producer, writer and theatre-maker based in Brisbane. Having had a career in youth work and community development, Hamouda made the pivot into theatre in 2020. She is studying Drama at the University of Queensland with the view to move toward playwriting and directing. She founded ‘Poetry in the Park’, an open-mic event in Logan, and she is working on her first book which will be released in 2022 with Pantera Press. Hamouda is passionate about applied theatre practices, championing diverse and emerging artists and broadening the scope of stories told upon Australian stages.
Peta Spurling-Brown is a live performance producer and artist manager currently based in Adelaide. Following a foundation in performance, Spurling-Brown’s arts administration experience started as marketing and events roles at Adelaide Fringe 2009-2013. In 2013, she packed her bags for Edinburgh, splitting her time between the two largest arts festivals in the world. In 2015, Spurling-Brown was approached by several artists to produce their work and her company, Hey Boss, was born.
GRIFFIN THEATRE COMPANY APPOINTS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Griffin Theatre Company has announced the appointment of Julieanne Campbell as its new Executive Director.
Campbell joins Griffin from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation where she was General Manager of Development. She has considerable leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector with an emphasis on strategy, business performance, marketing, fundraising, and stakeholder management, and previously worked at Blue Medium and Fitz & Co, two of New York’s most highly regarded arts marketing firms.
In Australia, Campbell was previously General Manager for leading arts companies including Performance Space (2003-2012), Parramasala (2013) and Urban Theatre Projects (2014-2018), where she developed a number of successful philanthropy programs. Her expertise in donor development deepened at Sydney Dance Company and Belvoir. She has also served on several boards, including as Chair of PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and Theatre Network NSW, and is co-founder and director of Sydney-based management consultancy Cobalt59.
‘For me, Griffin is where Australian theatre is now – in all its glorious diversity, telling stories about what matters deeply to us today,’ Campbell said. ‘The company has long been committed to new work, new writing and new ideas and I’m so excited to be coming back to the arts to be part of that working alongside Declan, the Board and a very talented team.’
Griffin Chair, Bruce Meagher, said the Board was thrilled to welcome Campbell as Griffin’s new Executive Director.
‘Julieanne brings extensive leadership experience to the role and joins Griffin at an exciting time as we embark on a new chapter in the organisation’s history under Declan Greene’s artistic leadership. We look forward to seeing Griffin continue to grow with Julieanne’s skill and energy at the helm,’ he said.
Declan Greene, Artistic Director, said: ‘Julieanne is bringing into the Griff-fold a phenomenal swag of experience in producing, marketing, fundraising, and strategizing for pretty much every kind of live performance you can imagine. The timing could not be better, as we embark on one of our most adventurous seasons yet. It’s been a truly wild 12 months, and I am pinching myself to have an Executive Director of Julieanne’s stature moving forward with me into Griffin’s bright and brave future.’
Campbell begins at Griffin on Monday 1 March.
SIMONE SCHINKEL ANNOUNCED AS MUSIC VICTORIA’S NEW CEO
The Music Victoria Board has appointed experienced arts leader Simone Schinkel as the organisation’s next CEO.
Schinkel brings with her a celebrated reputation for strategic sector development and a commitment to equity and justice. Until recently she worked at Theatre Network Australia where, as General Manager, Schinkel drove the sectors’ COVID 19 response which centred on fundraising efforts and providing essential cash grants to those most impacted. One of her lasting legacies will be the formation of a national alliance of arts industry councils to provide a national advocacy platform.
Schinkel holds a Master of Arts and Cultural Management, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in technical production, is an alumni of the Australia Council’s Emerging Leaders Development Program and Co-convenor of the Arts Industry Council of Victoria.
An unabashed music lover and supporter, Schinkel has been moved to tears by Kutcha Edwards singing an alternative national anthem, tried her hand at 6 different musical instruments, volunteered at community radio (4ZZZ), and even admits to dancing unashamedly to the Teeny Tiny Stevies.
‘When I got this gig, I celebrated by grabbing a drink at the Lomond Hotel and checking in on their live music situation. I can’t wait to be more than just a punter. I’m looking forward to building on the impressive work of Paddy and Dale, and to driving the lasting change that is needed to see Victorian music flourish again,’ Schinkel said.
Sally Howland, Chair, Music Victoria said, ‘In Simone we have found the person to lead our organisation and sector through its next critical stage. COVID-19 has decimated our industry and Simone is absolutely the right person to drive our sector back to growth. Her astute thinking and demonstrated abilities at capacity building gives the Music Victoria Board every confidence that she will be an ardent advocate on behalf of our membership, our stakeholders and our wider music community. We’re thrilled to have her at the helm.’
Schinkel commences in the role on International Women’s Day – 8 March 2020.
Music Victoria’s Board also extended its deepest gratitude to Dale Packard for his exemplary role in steering the organisation in recent months. Packard will assume his position as General Manager from 8 March.
CHUNKY MOVE’S SENIOR PRODUCER MOVES ON
Freya Waterson, Chunky Move’s Senior Producer, has announced she will be leaving the company at the end of February 2021 to focus on her independent practice, after receiving a three-year capacity building grant through the Victorian Independent Producers Initiative.
Waterson joined the Leadership team along with Artistic Director & Co-CEO, Antony Hamilton and Executive Director & Co-CEO Kristy Ayre in January 2019.
Thanking Waterson, Antony Hamilton said, ‘Freya’s departure from Chunky Move comes at a time in which we emerge from the globally challenging context of 2020. Despite the setbacks of the last year, Freya’s tenacity, resilience and thoughtfulness shored up our ability to remain a meaningful presence within our local arts community. Freya’s wealth of experience and incredibly nuanced approach to producing has been an incredible asset. She has been instrumental in allowing Chunky Move to reimagine what a dance company can dream to be, and she has been a passionate advocate for dreaming big, often reminding us that the art must be at the centre of what we do.
‘Freya leaves Chunky Move well placed to continue being a relevant and robust contributor to the rich cultural and artistic dialogue that dance plays an important role within. More than a producer, Freya’s intuition and generosity has helped guide the vision and leadership of the company and this will be greatly missed. Personally, I am deeply thankful for her friendship and her endurance as a collaborator over many years. I wish her every success in her future endeavours and she will always remain an important member of the extended Chunky Move family,’ he said.
Reflecting on her decision, Waterson said, ‘I’ve loved working with the skilled and dedicated team at Chunky Move and I’ll miss their infectious energy and commitment. Having worked with Antony for over a decade and throughout our time at Chunky Move, I continue to be inspired by his distinctive creative vision and by the artists we’ve had the pleasure to work with.
‘As Melbourne begins to open up again, I can’t wait to experience Chunky Move’s new works and programs with audiences across the city. As a passionate advocate for independent practice in its diverse and multifaceted forms, I’ve been privileged to work with artists and companies across artform, scale and context. I’m excited to continue pursuing this practice, now with the support of the Victorian Government through the Independent Producers Initiative,’ she concluded.
As an independent producer, Waterson will continue to investigate ways of working that support the visions of independent artists and companies. She will work collaboratively with peers in Australia and internationally to develop and advocate for new models of working that increase engagement, reach new audiences and build sustainable practices.
OPERA AUSTRALIA CEO STEPS DOWN
On Tuesday 16 February, Opera Australia Chairman David Mortimer AO announced that Chief Executive Officer Rory Jeffes had indicated his intention to step down from his role.
Jeffes will continue as CEO until such time an orderly change in leadership can take place, expected to be later this year.
Mortimer said the Board ‘are sorry to be losing Rory and, in due course, will be saying more about his contribution to the company.’
Opera Australia will now commence the search for Jeffes’ successor.
NO STRINGS APPOINTS CREATIVE PRODUCER
No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability has announced the appointment of Kerry Ireland in the new role of Creative Producer, effective immediately.
Ireland has been involved in the theatre for over two decades. She has previously served as Creative Producer for Feast Festival over four years; Venue Manager for Roslyn Packer Theatre (Sydney Theatre Company); Venue Manager for Parade Theatres (National Institute of Dramatic Art) and was the Lighting Designer for No Strings’ Tom the Loneliest.
CEO of No Strings, Kari Seeley, said, ‘Kerry is bringing a wealth of knowledge to No Strings derived from her 25 years of working in creative arts management.
‘Throughout her career Kerry has demonstrated a genuine commitment to diversity and prioritising minority voice. We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Kerry back to No Strings, in the new role of Creative Producer. We have some very exciting projects under development, and we know Kerry is the right person to carry these forward.’
Reflecting on her appointment, Ireland said, ‘I’m so proud to be joining the No Strings team. Stories from people living with disability matter and I’m thrilled to be in a position where I can assist in communicating their narrative and being part of a team that produces exceptional theatre that breaks down barriers, celebrates ability and drives positive change.’
NATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
The National Folk Festival has announced the appointment of five-time ARIA award winning artist Katie Noonan as its new Artistic Director.
One of Australia’s most high-profile musicians, Noonan has two decades of experience as a musician, producer and record label owner, artistic director and advocate for the arts in Australia. She joins the National Folk Festival after four years as Artistic Director at the Queensland Music Festival.
Managing Director Helen Roben said, ‘The National Folk Festival is thrilled that Katie will be leading our artistic vision moving forward. We have no doubt that her breadth of experience and unwavering passion for the arts will shape the festival’s evolution, helping to grow the National Folk Festivals reputation as one of the best folk festivals in Australia.’
The appointment reflects the festival’s need to expand its footprint and bring more people into the folk community, Roben continued.
‘Our mission goes beyond simply presenting these folk activities to our audiences. We need to start finding ways to make folk appealing and also permanent in the lives of young people,’ she said.
‘It’s the way in which this knowledge is passed on and transformed through practice, through listening and through exchange. We’re confident that Katie will find ways to nurture these traditions that are core to the National Folk Festival, while bringing in her own artistic vision and strategy, that will help promote and share folk culture, to bring diverse, new audiences to the festival.
‘As the world continues to go through a time of rapid change, folk traditions are becoming more important than ever, to help us better understand, remember and celebrate the world around us. We need to ensure the sustainability of the National Folk Festival into the future, and the continued growth of our community,’ Roben said.
Noonan has previously worked as Music Director of the Commonwealth Games in addition to her time with Queensland Music Festival, while her collaborative production with contemporary circus group Circa, Love-Song-Circus, was a two-time Fringe Award Winner in Adelaide. She has also engaged in multidisciplinary collaborations with Australian electronic producers Flight Facilities, Perth hip-hop artist Drapht, Australian poet and cartoonist Michael Leunig, and the UK’s Brodsky Quartet.
Noonan has been a mentor and supporter for many young artists and women in the arts. This commitment to furthering the future of Australian artists was recognised in 2019 when she was awarded the Australian Women in Music Creative Leadership award and the prestigious APRA AMCOS State Arts Luminary Award.
‘Music for me is a lifelong lesson, a generous act of giving and a means to change the world’ Noonan said.
‘In 1967 the NFF was established in order to create “a focal point and meeting place for the exchange of songs, styles and ideas”. Five decades after this dream was realised, I am honoured to be the new caretaker of this vision.’
She continued: ‘The folk music of today’s Australia is a multifaceted, multicultural and vibrant tapestry of colours and sounds. I look forward to weaving this tapestry into something rich and beautiful with you all – a tapestry that makes us all feel welcome and at home – in our nation’s capital.’
Noonan will present her first festival in 2022, after the global pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 festivals.
ADMINISTRATOR MOVES ON FROM UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE THEATRE GUILD
Adelaide Theatre Guild has bid farewell to its long-time Administrator, Ms Melanie Hibberd.
‘Melanie has been an outstanding Administrator of The Guild for 20 years and during that time she has overseen the operations of many successful seasons and award-winning performances,’ said Chair of the Theatre Guild, Ms Katherine Edmond.
‘The Guild today is in a stronger position because of her work. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and not having a season last year, it is because of Melanie that The Guild has been able to weather the storms of the pandemic and continue into 2021.
‘On behalf of our Board and the many cast and crew members, volunteers, audiences, and theatre lovers across all of these years, I thank Melanie for her exceptional service to The Guild and to the arts in South Australia,’ Edmond said.
Annabel Whitford, who has previously served in a support capacity for The Guild, will take on administrator duties on a part-time basis this year.
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