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Australia Council strengthens bilateral arts relationship with China

The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that two professional arts managers have been given the opportunity to build their international arts expertise in China as part of the Council’s professional arts placement program.

The inaugural recipients of this new partnership with China are Snuff Puppet’s General Manager Jodie Kinnersley and Artist Manager Mel Cheng from One Louder Entertainment.

Jodie will work with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC) under the mentorship of SDAC’s Head of International, Ophelia Huang. Established in 1995, SDAC is one of China’s most active performing arts institutions and the only national theatre company in Shanghai.

Mel will work with Split Works General Manager, Claire O’Shannessy, over a three month period. Split Works is an independent China-based music company founded in 2006, aiding the growth of the live music industry in China and the wider Asia region, working with both Chinese and Western music artists across a range of genres. Split Works aims to create a more sustainable ecosystem for music in China, offering several large-scale independent music festivals annually.

Dr Wendy Were, Executive Director of Strategic Development and Advocacy at the Australia Council for the Arts, congratulated the recipients.

“The Australia Council delivers a number of programs and initiatives targeted at supporting Australian arts and cultural engagement with China as part of its International Arts Strategy. It was wonderful to see significant interest from a number of high calibre applicants to the professional arts placement program in China in its inaugural year,” Dr Were said.

“This placement provides opportunities for Australian arts managers to build international expertise, intercultural capacity and international festival experience by fostering industry relationships and developing an understanding of the Chinese arts market. It also provides valuable relationship building for the future arts collaboration and exchange between Australia and China.”

The Council received significant interest in the professional arts placement in China, open to arts managers, producers and marketing and communications professionals. China’s partnership in the professional arts placement program builds upon other current and recently delivered Outbound and Inbound Programs in the region.

Recipients of the 2017 Professional Arts Placement in China

Jodie Kinnersley, General Manager – Snuff Puppets (Footscray, VIC)

With experience in marketing roles for leading arts companies Snuff PuppetsILBIJERRI Theatre Company,Western Edge Youth Arts and Castlemaine State Festival, Jodie will spend six weeks in a marketing and audience development role at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC), working with the international community to foster and develop English speaking audiences for SDAC.

Having previously spent 12 months living in Beijing, Jodie will draw upon her cross-cultural engagement to consolidate her skills and interest in Chinese language, arts marketing and audience development with a view to furthering collaborations with Chinese organisations in the future.

Mel Cheng, Artist Manager – One Louder Entertainment(Darlinghurst, NSW)

Mel has worked in the music industry for more than 10 years. She is currently an Artist Manager with some of Australia’s pre-eminent musicians, including Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, Crowded House, Kate Miller-Heidke and Ball Park Music. She will spend three months in Shanghai in a multi-faceted role in the lead up to and during Split Works’ 2017 Concrete and Grass Festival.

Mel hopes to diversify her skill set, gain invaluable insight and experience in China’s festival market, further her understanding of the challenges a working in a new market, and strengthen relationships between the Chinese and Australian music landscape.



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030

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