The Adelaide Festival Board has announced Jo Dyer as the new Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week for three Festivals from 2019 – 2021. Currently Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Dyer will take up the position in June 2018, taking over the reins from outgoing Director Laura Kroetsch.
Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter described the appointment as “a coup” for Adelaide Writers’ Week and the Adelaide Festival. “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Jo back to South Australia,” said Potter.
“It is another notable return of outstanding South Australian arts talent as she joins a senior leadership team that includes Rachel Healy, Rob Brookman and Torben Brookman all of whom spent significant time in Sydney before returning to their city of birth.”
“Jo has 25 years’ experience in multiple art forms including literature, dance, film and theatre. The Adelaide Festival Board is delighted to have secured Jo and her unique talents to build upon the outstanding success of the Adelaide Writers’ Week festival over the coming years.”
Originally from Adelaide, Jo Dyer is widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading arts identities. In addition to her role at the Sydney Writers Festival, she has held a number of significant roles in the Australian arts industry, including General Manager of Bangarra Dance Theatre and Executive Producer at Sydney Theatre Company.
During her time at Sydney Theatre Company she oversaw the largest theatre program in the country, curating multiple venues for highly diverse audiences, and touring the company’s works around Australia, across Europe and the US. She has also worked as an independent theatre and film producer and was producer on Award-winning films Lucky Miles and Girl Asleep.
“Growing up in Adelaide, I attended the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week as a child and into my teenage years so I am absolutely thrilled to be coming home to oversee Adelaide Writers’ Week and taking it into its next phase,” said Dyer.
“Adelaide has a rich history of a fierce engagement with writing and ideas and there is surely no more idyllic setting for their continued exploration than beneath the trees at the Pioneer Women’s Gardens. I am very much looking forward to building on the great legacy left by Laura Kroetsch and seeking to curate Writers’ Weeks that stimulate, enthrall and inspire.”
Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter also paid tribute to outgoing director Laura Kroetsch, who oversaw Adelaide Writers’ Week over the past 7 years. “I would like to acknowledge and thank Laura Kroetsch for her significant contribution as Director of Writers’ Week,” said Potter. “Laura managed a period of enormous change and reinvigorated the festival, positioning it as a savvy bastion of ideas.”
“Throughout her time she led the charge in improving the accessibility of Writers’ Week, connecting with audiences through live-streaming to libraries and nursing homes all around the state, educational programs with schools along with the popular Kids Weekend. We wish Laura all the very best as she takes up her new role with Hobart’s Dark Mofo where she will create a new program Dark & Dangerous Thoughts.”
Jo Dyer will start with Adelaide Writers’ Week in early June. The 2019 Adelaide Writers’ Festival runs 2 – 7 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au for details.
Image: Jo Dyer (supplied)