Bangarra Dance Theatre has announced the appointment of Lissa Twomey, a prominent and experienced creative and operational leader, to the position of Executive Director of Australia’s premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company.
With more than 25 years’ experience in arts and cultural development in the UK, Australia and New Zealand Lissa brings a breadth and depth of experience from across the arts, festivals and Government. She is a former Artistic Director of New Zealand International Arts Festival (NZIAF) and former Artistic Director of the inaugural Wellington Jazz Festival.
Lissa’s final New Zealand International Arts Festival programme had an unprecedented focus on First Nations (Maori and Pacific Island) artists, including an acclaimed production of Troilus and Cressida in te reo Maori, which had international success as the opener of London’s Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre foreign language Shakespeare festival Globe to Globe in 2012.
Since 2013 Lissa has been Executive Director, Major Performing Arts and National Engagement for the Australia Council for the Arts. During that time, she led the government’s strategic reform of the MPA Framework which resulted in one of the most significant arts policy changes since its inception in 1999.
“I am delighted to welcome Lissa to Bangarra and lead the company through its next cycle,” said Stephen Page, Bangarra Artistic Director. “Lissa has such a unique experience base across the arts and government. Lissa is deeply committed to the development of First Nations leaders and will also drive over her tenure Bangarra’s commitment to developing the next Indigenous leaders for the company.”
Lissa comes to Bangarra at an exciting time, as the company moves in to its fourth decade, and following widespread acclaim for recent productions including the international tour of Spirit to Canada and the USA, the launch of digital archival platform and installation work Knowledge Ground and Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand, their largest national tour to date.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to join the Bangarra family as the company concludes its 30th year and contemplates the next cycle,” said Lissa. “Bangarra is much more than a dance company. Its connection and impact through performance and activities is immense. It is an honour to have the opportunity to work with Stephen, Frances, Jacob, the dancers, staff and Board of this unique organisation.”
Lissa will commence the role at Bangarra in March 2020. For more information about Bangarra, visit: www.bangarra.com.au for details.
Image: Lissa Twomey – photo courtesy of Australia Council