The newly appointed head of SALA tells The Adelaide Review she has a vision not only to celebrate living local artists but to bring others from around the country and the world to Adelaide.
After six years as the CEO of SALA Penny Griggs will take up the position of CEO at the Adelaide Central School of Art this month, leaving a big gap to fill. Kate Moskwa, previously program manager at SALA, has moved into the role and, with the experience of five years working alongside Griggs, she seems the perfect fit.
“Penny has done such a great job building on some of the foundations of the festival, so we have had community support for a long time. She has also brought the professional artist sector and emerging artist sector back into the fold,” says Moskwa.
Moskwa has a diverse CV that includes festival work at the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, Edinburgh Festival and the Venice Biennale along with a number of arts administration roles at organisations such as ANAT. She holds a Masters in Art History from Adelaide University along with one in Arts and Cultural Management from UniSA. The role of CEO at SALA is a great combination of her experience of festival work and arts administration.
Moskwa has had excellent training for the role working alongside Griggs for the last five festivals. As a team of two for most of that time they have had a shared vision of engaging the sector and building partnerships and audiences. Moskwa wants to continue this work. “I want to further develop audience engagement. We have a large audience across the state. I think it would be really valuable to build the depth of engagement of those audiences.”
The vision for SALA, established in 1998 by Paul Greenaway and Sam Hill Smith, was about audience development, creating opportunities for artists, and education. It has always been about expanding the audience.
“It’s a nice way to invite audiences to art spaces or other venues that they wouldn’t normally visit. I hope that if people attend an event during SALA that they might not normally feel comfortable going to, it will give them the confidence and the familiarity to go at other times of the year,” says Moskwa.
SALA is a celebration of South Australian living artists and Moskwa will continue to champion local artists. “Outside of the state, it’s a great way to promote and nurture South Australian artists and provide opportunities for local artists to build on their careers and profiles with the intention that they might be able to take that nationally or internationally.”
On a broader level, Moskwa would also like to see Adelaide grow to become a centre for art and culture, something that could put it on the map as an art destination.
“At the moment Adelaide is such an affordable part of the country to live in that it would be great if we could become a haven not just for South Australian artists to live and work in but also for artists from interstate and overseas to come here to be artists,” says Moskwa. “We could become a place that really values our artistic and cultural life.”
Header image: Sia Duff