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30 years of art

by Heather Leggett

Some of the most influential members of the arts scene gathered for a day-long symposium in late February to celebrate the 30th anniversary of UniSA’s Arts and Cultural Management Program and to launch its new alumni group.

Re-Negotiating the Arts 2010: Creating a New Space was officially opened by Greg Mackie OAM the Deputy Chief Executive of Cultural Development and Corporate from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and featured the likes of Rhoda Roberts, best known for her role as producer of the 2010 New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Sydney.

Luqiang Qiao, a prestigious graduate of UniSA’s postgraduate Arts and Cultural Management Program and currently the Deputy Director of the General Office at China’s National Center for the Performing Arts, travelled from Beijing to discuss issues in the global arts scene.

Associate Prof Jo Caust who is UniSA’s Program Director of Arts and Cultural Management, said that like Luqiang, many graduates have gone on to become major players on the national and international arts scene.

“David Malacari, the Artistic Director of the Auckland Festival and Jacinta Thompson, the Executive Producer of the OzAsia Festival, are both graduates and we have many others who hold notable positions on the Adelaide, national and international arts scene,” she said.

Dr Helen Rusak, a lecturer in the Arts and Cultural Management program at UniSA and the symposium organiser, said that current students in the program enjoyed the chance to network with alumni and speakers.

“This event is just one example of the way in which our students gain access to the national industry,” she said.

“UniSA’s program has delivered hundreds of graduates who have gone on to make an impact on the arts in Australia and around the world. It was great to see many of them return to celebrate with us.”

Douglas Gautier the CEO and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre was master of ceremonies and speakers included Associate Professor Jo Caust; Danny Tan, Artistic Director and Founder of the Odyssey Dance Theatre Company in Singapore presenting on arts in Singapore; and Dr Brenda Croft from UniSA’s Unaipon School who looked at issues facing Indigenous arts and cultural management. Also presenting was Dr Hilary Glow, author and senior lecturer for the Arts and Entertainment Management Program at Deakin University.

A who’s who of the international arts scene discussed contemporary issues in arts management. A panel of Festival Directors chaired by Dr Kate McNeill, Coordinator of Arts Management at the University of Melbourne, discussed how festivals influence arts management. The panel also featured Douglas Gautier, Christie Anthoney from the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Karl Telfer from the Spirit Festival and Kate Gould who is the General Manager and Associate Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

The forum will soon be broadcast on the UniSA Alumni website. Papers from the Symposium will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management.