New OzAsia Festival Director announced

Joseph Mitchell_editorialThe Adelaide Festival Centre has announced that one of the rising stars of the Australian arts industry, Joseph Mitchell has been appointed as the new Festival Director of its Oz Asia Festival.

Joseph will commence in July and will start planning for the 2015 OzAsia Festival which will be focusing on Indonesia, and the enchanting culture that lies within the Indonesian archipelago.

Originally from Newcastle, Joseph is currently based in Toronto, Canada where he is the Senior Director at Luminato Festival, Canada’s pre-eminent multi-arts Festival, which is internationally renowned for presenting new and challenging works.

Joseph was also previously the Executive Producer of Brisbane Festival and both the Resident Director and Youth & Education Manager at Queensland Theatre Company. Prior to his career in the arts, Joseph was a medal-winning member of the Australian Swimming Team.

His extensive programming experience and his work leading major international arts festivals has given him wide-ranging knowledge of Asian performing arts.

Joseph says, “I am thrilled to be appointed as OzAsia Festival Director, one of Australia’s most exciting and unique international arts festivals and I look forward to building on the successes achieved to date.”

“While still relatively young in years, OzAsia Festival is already well-positioned to solidify it’s standing as a leading international arts festival that focuses on developing and presenting the best contemporary work from Asia and Australia.”

Out-going Festival Director, Jacinta Thompson, has taken up a position as the Executive Director of the Bob Hawke Institute at the University of South Australia.

Douglas Gautier, CEO and Artistic Director of the Festival Centre says,“I’d like to thank Jacinta for growing OzAsia into the premier Australian cultural event based on works from the Asian region.”

“Jacinta has created a Festival that celebrates Asian culture and has been embraced by all.  We are an immigrant community and increasingly more immigrants are from Asia. Where cultures flourish, so too do understanding and celebration, which, as we know, are precious ingredients for good civic society and social cohesion. This Festival in in good hands as Joseph takes over the leadership.”

Since its inception in 2007, the OzAsia Festival has enriched the cultural landscape of South Australia by introducing audiences to a diverse range of artistic expression. It has grown steadily regularly attracting an audience of 60,000.

The 2014 Festival runs from 3 – 21 September with a focus on Adelaide’s sister state, Shandong and features more than 140 performers from the region as well as a major exhibition of visual arts and master kite makers who will work with local communities.

The Festival will open with the Australian premiere and exclusive performance of Red Sorghum by Shandong’s leading Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre Company. For more information, visit: www.ozasiafestival.com.au for details.

Image: Joseph Mitchell – courtesy of the Adelaide Festival Centre

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