Australian Performing Arts Forum

Theatre Network Australia (TNA)

Theatre Network Australia (TNA) is the leading industry development organisation for the not for profit performing arts, prioritising independent artists and small to medium companies. TNA represents artists and companies working in theatre, circus, dance, hybrid and interdisciplinary work, as well as being the Australian centre for ASSITEJ International (performance with/for by young people).

The Australian Performing Arts Forum (formerly ATF)

APAF is a biennial three day gathering of 300 – 400 representatives from the Australian theatre and wider performing arts sector. Bringing together practitioners, producers and cultural provocateurs from across the country, the APAF provides a platform for an exchange of ideas. It was first produced by the Australia Council for the Arts in 2009, and subsequently TNA took over the stewardship, producing all events since then. The most recent forum was a ‘deconstructed’ version in response to COVID, across 2021. There was no forum in 2019, as TNA undertook a review. The 2023 forum will be the seventh event.

ATF 2021: Deconstructed ATF#1 In-person, Neighbourhood Adelaide, 20 May (with APAM and DreamBIG); ATF #2 Online Indie Career Pathways 4 August; ATF#3 – Online and in Darwin, 16 August 2021 (with Next Wave and APAM); ATF #4, Creating Out Loud Online peer-learning, 5 October – 17 November.

ATF 2017: About Time – October, Adelaide Festival Centre, OzAsia Festival
Curated by Alexis West and Steve Mayhew
Key Partners: Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Arts SA, OzAsia Festival.

ATF 2015: Making It – January, Seymour Centre, Sydney Festival
Curated by David Williams and Simon Wellington
Key Partners: Sydney Festival, Seymour Centre, Sydney Opera House, Australia Council for the Arts, Business Events Sydney, NSW Now, Destination NSW, Arts NSW.

ATF 2013: To The Heart of It – May, Canberra Theatre Centre, Centenary of Canberra
Curated by Alicia Talbot and Antonia Seymour
Key Partners: Canberra Centenary, Australia Council for the Arts, Canberra Theatre Centre.

ATF 2011: Convictions and Connections – September, Brisbane Powerhouse
Curated by Fiona Winning, Event Producer Rebecca Meston
Key Partners: Queensland Government, Australia Council for the Arts, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City, Metro Arts.

ATF 2009: What Will We Do Now – May, Arts House, Melbourne
Curated by Angharad Wynne-Jones, Produced by the Australia Council
Key Partners: Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, British Council, Goethe Institute.

Audience & Access            

APAF is artist centred: APAF is the only national performing arts forum which is specifically designed for artists to be at the centre of conversations, and which has a pro-active strategy to achieve over 50% attendance by artists.

APAF serves a unique cohort of delegates: The pool of performing arts conference delegates is large and changing, and there is only a small cross-over of delegates between each ATF/APAF and amongst forums such as APAF, APAX and APAM.

APAF provides dedicated access strategies: TNA implements targeted strategies and applies significant resources to ensure access for independent artists, First Nations delegates, delegates from diverse backgrounds, and delegates with disabilities. This includes an EOI process to offer 120 independents a place for $121. We also seek state support for travel and accommodation costs for under-represented independents.

2023 Supporters