City of Melbourne’s Arts and Culture chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said Jacob was an outstanding candidate in the extensive nationwide recruitment process.
“The Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival is a highlight on the city’s cultural calendar and showcases the best of our thriving Indigenous arts scene,” said Cr Leppert. “The City of Melbourne is committed to supporting Indigenous expression through art programs and events such as MIAF. We are delighted to welcome Jacob, one of Victoria’s most highly respected Indigenous arts leaders, to this important role as the festival’s Creative Director.”
“With his background in creating multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony, for stage, screen and large scale events, Jacob is ideally placed to build the future success of MIAF.”
Jacob has worked with Elders and youth from remote and rural Aboriginal communities for over 20 years, leading intergenerational cultural maintenance programs and the research and revival of traditional dance.
As a dancer, choreographer, puppeteer and playwright, his contemporary theatre practice is influenced by traditional Aboriginal dance and storytelling. Jacob said he was excited to take on the new challenge as Creative Director of MIAF.
“I look forward to working with our communities to showcase Victorian Koori culture and to share a thriving, vibrant and diverse artistic community with the people and streets of Melbourne,” said Jacob.
Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne-born and based artist, and a descendant of the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia. He is an Associate Producer at ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Artistic Director of Melbourne Festival’s Opening Ceremony, TANDERRUM. His previous roles include co-facilitator of the National Indigenous Choreographers Residency (Dance Massive 2015); British Council’s ACCELERATE Indigenous Leaders Program (2014); and as recipient of an Asialink Residency (2010).
The appointment comes as preparations get underway for the 2017 MIAF which will once again include a diverse range of art forms and experiences for all ages, spanning theatre, music, literature, film, cabaret, dance and visual arts, across arts venues in the City of Melbourne.
Image: Jacob Boehme – photo by Bindi Cole