Friday 15 September


KEYNOTE CONVERSATION – on alternative realities  

with Louise Bezzina & Maxine Doyle (UK)

9 – 10AM

Louise Bezzina (Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival) hosts this one-on-one conversation with independent artist and choreographer, Maxine Doyle (Salamander, The Burnt City, Sleep No More).  

Drawing on decades of experience and her impressive breadth of work with UK company, Punchdrunk, this conversation will delve into Maxine’s expansive independent practice, collaborative processes, creative leadership, and ongoing commitment to centring audience experience in the creation of large-scale work(s) across genre, form and context.  



10:30AM – 12PM

1. CONVERSATION – on shifting identities  

with Cade & MacAskill (UK) 

Join Glasgow’s Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill, creators of The Making of Pinocchio, in an intimate conversation about their artistic practice and joint body of work.   

In conversation with Meanjin-based artist, Nathan Stoneham, Cade and MacAskill will consider how their work interweaves with their own story, relationship, and lived experience(s). This session will approach the messy tangle that is queer joy, potentiality, and collaborative processes between lovers to create contemporary experimental performance. Through conversation, participation, and a Q&A with the artists, delegates will be encouraged to question how boundaries are investigated and blurred between process and product; autobiography and fiction. 

Hosted by Nathan Stoneham  

2. PANEL – on the afterlives of performance

100 years from now, we will all be dead – so, what then? 

Join First Nations novelist Claire G Coleman, funeral director Kimba Griffith, academic Katerina Teaiwa, and Malaysian theatre-maker Charlene Rajendran to consider what happens when performance becomes a matter of life and death. Convened by theatre researcher Paul Rae (University of Melbourne), panellists will reflect on performance knowledge that spans time, place, and culture to put our deaths into perspective, and open up more vital and durable ways of thinking about the world we’re bequeathing those to come. 

Speakers include Charlene Rajendran (Singapore), Claire G Coleman, Kimba Griffith (Last Hurrah Funerals), and Katerina Teaiwa (Australian National University)

Hosted by Paul Rae (University of Melbourne) 

3. PANEL – on the evolving nature of arts festivals

APAF invites six festival directors to consider the evolution of Australian arts festivals, from their role in the wider cultural landscape to urgent and emergent models of the future. Facilitated by OzAsia Festival’s Annette Shun Wah, panellists will consider notions of ‘legacy’ in a festival context, international models that inspire home-grown formats, and the global issues shaping festival curation today and into the future. 

Speakers include Olivia Ansell (Sydney Festival), Louise Bezzina (Brisbane Festival), and Marnie Karmelita (Ten Days on the Island) 

Hosted by Annette Shun Wah (Artistic Director, OzAsia Festival) 

WORKSHOP – on the future of arts leadership   

12 – 1:30PM

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.
– bell hooks, “Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope” (2013) 

As we contemplate recovery and renewal, the role of the arts leader comes into sharp focus. Critical questions emerge: Is our leadership narrative in danger of being consumed by notions of stress, strain and overwhelm? How can we speak about these real challenges while at the same time developing a consciousness desire and capacity for sectoral reform? Where can we turn to for models that challenge, uplift, and extend?  

The discourse on arts leadership over the past few years has reasonably centred around COVID recovery and the long-term impacts on an ecosystem that, in many ways, was already under tremendous strain.  

One aspect of our leadership discourse that was suspended during the pandemic relates to the diversity agenda. It is time to reconnect with our ambitions to be more diverse, representative, and equitable, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because in our search for answers about how to lead beyond our present challenges, we must remember that true diversity is about doing things differently.  

Embedding different worldviews, practices, knowledges, and sensibilities at the heart of leadership practice enables a forward vision that propels us into a new landscape – let’s begin the conversation with all of us together in the room, making space for many voices. 

Led by Veronica Pardo, Angharad Wynne-Jones & Karilyn Brown  

LUNCH: 1:30-2:30PM


Find Bring a Plate Dance on the Brisbane Powerhouse forecourt and get ready to dance.

1:30-2:00PM: Session 1
2:00-2:30PM: Session 2

Please note this session will be in run in two parts – so grab your lunch either end and join for a half hour dance! Both half hours will be accessible to movers of all stripes, but please get in touch with TNA to chat through any specific access needs.


2:30 – 3:30PM

1. PRESENTATION – on sustainable inclusion 

It’s 2023 and arts organisations are still working out the response to the global charge for diversity, equity and inclusion action from 2020. But just as quickly as the black squares of solidarity came down, the people brought in to diversify our stages are leaving.  

Effie Nkrumah, Lead Facilitator at Stage A Change, speaks about the ABIDE framework of Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity and offers considerations for a future that includes and uplifts Australia’s people along with their perspectives and practices.  

With the strong need for a plan for the sustainability of new artists, new audience, and new administrators, Effie will speak about the line between tokenistic actions for 2023 and commitments for inclusion and representation to create, amplify and sustain new voices for the next 100 years. 

Led by Effie Nkrumah (Stage A Change) 

2. WORKSHOP – on audience diversification in the arts 

This workshop is for organisations only.

Changing the social profile of audiences is a ‘wicked problem’ in the arts.   

First Nations people, Deaf and Disabled communities, and those from different cultures, age groups, geographic locations, and sexual and gender identities are historically under-represented in arts audiences. Based on current and ongoing national research into the organisational change required to diversify audiences, Deakin University will deliver a future-facing, practical workshop for 2023 APAF delegates. 

Deakin’s Dr Anne Kershaw and Dr Abbie Trott will consider emerging findings alongside representatives from case studies in the research and practical self-assessment activities, which will encourage delegates to evaluate the work their own organisation is doing to diversity their audience. 

Led by Dr Abbie Trott & Dr Anne Kershaw (Deakin University) 

3. WORKSHOP – on adapting to change   

Artists Jackson Castiglione and Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez will deliver a workshop focused on sustainability and alternative business models for independent artists and small arts businesses.  

Delegates will work collaboratively to interrogate shifts that have occurred within the performing arts sector since the proliferation of COVID, existing funding and philanthropic opportunities, and their individual and shared capacity to adapt to ongoing change(s) within the current arts climate.  

Led by Jackson Castiglione (Field Theory) & Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez (Theatre Network Australia) 

4. WORKSHOP – on collaborative futuring in a climate crisis     

Survival is insufficient.  

In this workshop, delegates will identify the major local and global drivers of change affecting the learning, making, and sharing of art in a climate emergency.  

Led by Sydney University’s Clare Cooper, participants will take these drivers and collaboratively create 4 stories of probable, potential, and preposterous futures. We’ll do some back casting from these stories and decide which of these trajectories “unfunk” and energise us, motivate change, and discuss how to embed them in our practices and/or share them more broadly. 

Led by Clare Cooper (University of Sydney) with Natalia Gulbransen-Diaz


ON COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY – co-designing the future of the arts sector 

4 – 5PM

Session #3: The wrap-up – top-line discussion points and ideas will be shared with the wider delegation, with action-based outcomes recorded and presented to the wider arts sector at the conclusion of the forum.This session will close out APAF on Friday 15 September – we encourage delegates to stick around and take collective responsibility for actioning your ideas!   

and CLOSING REMARKS with Ethan Enoch-Barlow