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Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group

I am a SAMAG Committee Member, representing the literary arts in this prestigious board alongside directors and arts managers from peak Australian arts organisations in the fields of performing arts, the museum sector, regional arts, visual arts, literature, sponsorship and peak funding bodies.

This year I moderated a SAMAG panel about youth engagement, programmed and produced a panel on success for Vivid Sydney, and helped shape the strategic plan.

The SAMAG team are a passionate, talented and incredibly experienced bunch and it's a pleasure to spend time discussing the state of the arts with them, facilitating spaces to make the arts community in Australia stronger than ever, to have the discussions that really matter.

The Next Generation: Youth Engagement in the Arts

As the arts sector re-imagines its future, the question of pathways for young people to engage with the arts has become critical. Our first SAMAG seminar of 2016 brings together some of the key proponents of youth engagement to explore the current challenges and opportunities in the work of developing the next generation (and the next) of artists and audiences. Join Chair Lex Hirst, former Co-director, National Young Writers' Festival, as she leads a conversation with Belinda Sculley, Young Creatives Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Fraser Corfield, Artistic Director, Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and Andrew Johnson, NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, along with young artists for this critical conversation.

SAMAG: Be Careful What You Wish For: the pleasures, perils and pitfalls of success

It can be difficult to make ends meet as a festival, organisation or artist, but we have some of the most exciting, innovative, successful festivals and events in the world, so how do they make it work? What should you do when, against all odds, your organisation starts to kick some goals? For this co-presented Vivid Ideas SAMAG discussion, we're bringing together some of the country's best festival directors, producers and curators who have seen their organisations reach a point of success and then thought 'What next?' 


Lisa Dempster: Artistic Director/CEO Melbourne Writers' Festival
Clare Downes: Festival Founder/Director, Secret Garden Festival
Danielle Harvey: Acting Head of Programming, Sydney Opera House
Miles Merrill: Creative Director/Performing Writer, Word Travels
Chair: Mathieu Ravier: Director, The Festivalists

An inspiring, practical and interactive discussion about how festivals cope with the pressures of larger audiences, funding and logistics. The panellists discuss how to make the most of your successes, big and small, and what success really means for an arts org. They get to the heart of how they balance their growth and their creative vision with the constant challenges of producing arts events in today's climate. Is bigger always better? When should you pause and reflect? Can you evolve without moving away from the heart of your event? Can you curate your audience? And how do you make sure you grow in the right way?