Australia Council for the Arts Chief Executive Officer
Tony Grybowski has announced two new directors to the organisation’s leadership
Mr Grybowski said after an extensive recruitment
process Marion Potts had been appointed Director Theatre and Jo Metcalf had
been appointed Director National Development.
“Both Marion and Jo are outstanding arts
administrators, leaders and advocates across various fields and their combined
talents, knowledge and experience will be an enormous asset to the Australia
Council in this exciting period of change,” Mr Grybowski said.
“Marion is an award-winning theatre director and
has been Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre since 2010.
“Jo Metcalf has extensive experience in various
artforms, particularly music and circus, and multi-artform festival experience
both here and overseas, and as an arts administrator and producer for
organisations including The British Council, Perth International Arts Festival
and Amnesty International.
“Jo is currently working in the UK and will be
returning to Australia to take up the position with the Council.”
The new appointments come after former Australia
Council Theatre Director Lyn Wallis accepted the Artistic Director role at
HotHouse Theatre in Wodonga. The Director National Development is a newly
created position as part of the reform process currently underway at the Australia
Council. This role will lead the
team of arts practice directors who sit within the new Arts Strategy division
headed by Dr Wendy Were.
“Both Marion and Jo possess a great working
knowledge of international and Australian arts culture, including our unique
rural and regional arts,” Mr Grybowski said.
“They join a highly professional and energetic
leadership team at the most dynamic period of transformation in the Australia
Council’s 40 year history. We
congratulate them on their appointments and look forward to Marion’s arrival in
April and Jo’s in March.”
Mr Grybowski said the appointments completed an
extensive period of rebuilding across the Australia Council that included a new
pool of rotating artistic peer assessors, the release of a Strategic Plan and a
new grants model, which began this month, to ensure the Council is more
responsive to the needs of artists and organisations.
The other key change within the team of Arts
Practice directors is the appointment of Dr David Sudmalis as Director Emerging
and Experimental Arts, replacing Andrew Donovan, who moves to Director Artists’
Services within the new centralised Grants division headed by Frank Panucci.
The Arts Practice directors will continue to work
closely with the Grants division and peers as they engage strategically with
the sector to promote artistic vibrancy and sustainability, and identify trends
and issues within the artform. The
reshaping of these roles will complement the strategic advisory focus of the
Chairs of Arts Practice, as they work collaboratively to ensure rich artform
knowledge informs the work of the Council.
The Australia Council’s new grants model opened
last week with the first round of applications closing on 3 March. For more information, go to: https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/new-grants-model
Malthouse Theatre has been led by Artistic
Director Marion Potts since 2010.
Prior to this Marion worked with many of the
country’s finest theatre companies.
She was Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Artistic
Director and Artistic Director of its development arm, Mind’s Eye from
2005-2010; Resident Director for Sydney Theatre Company from 1995-1999. She was a founding member of HotHouse
Theatre’s Artistic Directorate, the Curator of the 2003 National Playwrights’
Conference, Chairperson of World Interplay and a member of the Theatre Board of
the Australia Council.
For Malthouse Theatre, Marion has directed The Riders (with Victorian Opera), Latitud (with Dramafest, Mexico), Ugly Mugs (with Griffin Theatre
Company), The Dragon, Hate, Wild Surmise,
Blood Wedding, Meow Meow’s Little
Match Girl and its return season at the Southbank Centre in London, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Sappho... in 9 fragments, and Venus & Adonis (with Bell
Shakespeare) and its return season for Auckland Festival. Other theatre
directing credits include: King Lear,
Hamlet, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew (Bell Shakespeare); The Wonderful World of Dissocia,
Playgrounds, Volpone, Don Juan, Life After George, Cyrano de Bergerac, The
Crucible, Navigating, Del Del, Closer, The Herbal Bed, What is the Matter With
Mary Jane?, Pygmalion, Where Are We Now?, The Café Latte Kid, The Blessing, Two
Weeks With The Queen (Sydney Theatre Company); Grace (Melbourne Theatre Company); Equus, The Torrents, Gary’s House, A Number, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?
(State Theatre Company of South Australia); Constance
Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset (Queensland Theatre Company).
Marion has received numerous nominations and
awards, including the Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Play in 2006.
Jo Metcalf has recently worked with
Australian companies such as Circa and Black Arm Band as an International
Producer and has more than 20 years of experience in the multi-arts sector,
both in Australia and overseas.
Jo is a respected arts professional who has managed
innovative creative partnerships, complex cultural relationships, and produced
award-winning artistic projects.
She has delivered regional creative programs, designed and implemented
global arts strategies and led creative organisations. This includes Creative Producer at
Wales Millennium Centre from 2013-2014; Contemporary Music Associate at Perth
International Arts Festival from 2011- 2014; Head of Art at Amnesty
International from 2009-February 2013; and Director, International Partnerships
& Programs at Circa from 2009- 2012.
Other positions include Creative Director at the
British Council; Head of Performing Arts at Roundhouse Trust; CEO and Artistic
Director at Salisbury International Arts Festival; and Contemporary Culture
Programmer at Perth International Arts Festival.
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