Arts Learning Forum to be held in Melbourne

Arts Review Polyglot TangledThe Australia Council for the Arts has announced national and international feature speakers for the inaugural Arts Learning Forum to be held in Melbourne at the Footscray Community Arts Centre in November.

“The Australia Council is pleased to support the first Arts Learning Forum, which will include the participation of national and international arts learning leaders,” said Australia Council Executive Director Arts Infrastructure, Lissa Twomey. “The forum will highlight the importance of arts learning and discuss innovative ways to engage audiences, communities and participants of all ages in the arts.”

“Its purpose is to enhance the practice and profile of arts learning in Australia, by exchanging ideas and methods of engagement and across artforms with national and international practitioners, and provide support to those working in this field.”

With the opening address to be given by Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski, Indigenous soprano and Short Black Opera Artistic Director Deborah Cheetham AO will discuss lifelong learning through the lens of Australia’s 60,000 years of cultural history, exchange and practice.

Forum delegates will hear from international guests Katherine Zeserson (UK) and Anna Cutler (UK), both world-renowned pioneers in arts learning.  Ms Zeserson spearheaded the development of the most extensive program of lifelong music participation in Europe at Sage Gateshead, North East England.

In an online address, Tate Director of Learning Anna Cutler will share her insights into how one in seven visitors participate in a Tate learning program. Professor Judith McLean, Professor of Arts Education at Queensland University of Technology and Scholar in Residence at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, will facilitate over the three days.

Ms Twomey said the event was expected to attract a large number of arts professionals working in arts learning or those who have an interest in the field.  Delegates will hear from leading professionals, participate in workshops, panels and discussions and meet peers.

The Australia Council regularly supports arts forums and events for a range of disciplines to bring the sector together to discuss the challenges and opportunities it faces and explore new strategies, initiatives and projects to address these. This forum is one of the ways the Australia Council will realise the goals of its Strategic Plan by building the capacity of the sector to ensure more Australians have access to and engage with the arts.

The three day event will be held from 25 – 27 November at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Registrations are now open, with a special early bird discount until 25 September.  For more information and to register, visit: for details.

Image: Polyglot’s Tangled – photo by Sean Young