The Australia Council has released details of its 2019 Arts Leaders and Future Leaders programs, with two South Australian creatives among the names announced.
The two initiatives aim to foster leadership and exchange among Australia’s arts communities, with Arts Leaders selecting mid-career or established artists and arts workers for a 12-month program of workshops and discussions around Australia. Australian Dance Theatre Executive Director Eira Swaine is among the 20 candidates selected to participate in 2019.
A further 20 young and emerging arts professionals will also be granted guidance and support in the Future Leaders program. Multi-disciplinary artist Amber Cronin is the sole South Australian representative among the 2019 Future Leaders cohort. As a co-founder and Artistic Director of Angas Street artist-run gallery and studio The Mill, Cronin has already spent years helping to build South Australia’s artistic community, while also gaining valuable experience in her own practice.
“Arts leadership to me means relationships, it is to have an ‘Artists First’ mentality,” Cronin says of the L word. “To me, leaders are hands on and engaged at a grass roots level. Arts leaders are connected with makers through their artist networks. Leaders in the arts are turning what they know to be true into reality and taking artists with them.”
“At the heart of the program design is an understanding that our sector is already rich in knowledge and capability, and that artists and arts leaders learn and evolve through sharing stories and experiences,” Australia Council Director of Capacity Building Kevin Du Preez says of the program.
Joining Cronin and Swaine are a mix of independent creatives and participants drawn from organisations including Malthouse Theatre, Circus Oz, Desart, APRA AMCOS, Musica Viva and Byron Writers Festival. The National Portrait Gallery’s Penelope Grist, who co-curated Samstag Museum’s recent Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits exhibition, is also a 2019 Future Leader.