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The Australia Council for the Arts has today announced national and international feature speakers for the inaugural Arts Learning Forum to be held in Melbourne in November.

Australia Council Executive Director Arts Infrastructure Lissa Twomey said the three day event would be held from Wednesday, 25 November to Friday, 27 November at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

“The Australia Council is pleased to support the first Arts Learning Forum, which will include the participation of national and international arts learning leaders,” Ms Twomey said.

“The forum will highlight the importance of arts learning and discuss innovative ways to engage audiences, communities and participants of all ages in the arts.  Its purpose is to enhance the practice and profile of arts learning in Australia, by exchanging ideas and methods of engagement and across artforms with national and international practitioners, and provide support to those working in this field.

“Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski will give the opening address on the importance of the arts in every day life for all Australians.

“He will be joined by a line-up of speakers, who will share their insights with delegates.  Further presenters will be announced next month with the full program.”

Indigenous soprano and Short Black Opera Artistic Director Deborah Cheetham AO will discuss lifelong learning through the lens of Australia’s 60,000 years of cultural history, exchange and practice.

Forum delegates will hear from international guests Katherine Zeserson (UK) and Anna Cutler (UK), both world-renowned pioneers in arts learning.  Ms Zeserson spearheaded the development of the most extensive program of lifelong music participation in Europe at Sage Gateshead, North East England.

In an online address, Tate Director of Learning Anna Cutler will share her insights into how one in seven visitors participate in a Tate learning program.

Professor Judith McLean, Professor of Arts Education at Queensland University of Technology and Scholar in Residence at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, will facilitate over the three days.

Ms Twomey said the event was expected to attract a large number of arts professionals working in arts learning or those who have an interest in the field.  Delegates will hear from leading professionals, participate in workshops, panels and discussions and meet peers.

The Australia Council regularly supports arts forums and events for a range of disciplines to bring the sector together to discuss the challenges and opportunities it faces and explore new strategies, initiatives and projects to address these.

This forum is one of the ways the Australia Council will realise the goals of its Strategic Plan by building the capacity of the sector to ensure more Australians have access to and engage with the arts.

Registrations are now open for the Arts Learning Forum at a special early bird discount until 25 September.  To register, go to:



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030

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