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The Australia Council for the Arts today announced the appointment of Wesley Enoch as artistic director of Australia’s delegation to the 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts, to be held in American Samoa in July 2008.

Dr Chris Sarra, chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board, said Mr Enoch would play an important role in leading and selecting the delegation.

“There has never been a better time to celebrate the strength of Indigenous Australian arts. The Festival of Pacific Arts comes once every four years as an opportunity to share the best of our culture, and build connections beyond our borders,” he said.

“Wesley brings experience spanning some twenty years of professional practice in the performing arts and an international reputation that will see a delegation of artists, musicians, dancers and writers showcasing the best of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts to the world.”

Wesley Enoch, artistic director said he was honored by the appointment.

“I’m excited about the prospect of putting together a delegation of up to 30 artists that will allow us to showcase our best, share our stories, learn from our neighbors and celebrate our cultures,” he said.

The Festival of Pacific Arts is the world’s largest gathering of indigenous Pacific cultures, held every four years since 1972. The 2008 festival will run from 20 July to 2 August, with delegations from 27 Pacific Island nations represented.

The Australia Council for the Arts has managed Australia’s delegation to each Festival of Pacific Arts since 1975. The members of the 2008 delegation will be announced in April, following a national call for expressions of interest in December last year.

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