Australia Council Announces New Directors

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by anonymous on Tuesday 20 January 2015.

Australia Council for the Arts Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski has announced two new directors to the organisation’s leadership team.

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.