On the Couch with Daniel Potter

Daniel-Potter-courtesy-of-Shopfront-Arts-Co-opWho is Daniel Potter?
I’m a guy with a five year old and a two year old kid. I’m the Executive Director at Shopfront Arts Co-op. where I get to work with and support heaps of great established and emerging artists and Young People. I like building stuff and I like experimenting with the mix of art and business. I’m losing my hair and I am slowly coming to terms with that.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I have some pretty strong opinions on the future of the country and the world – maybe I should be the nation’s leader? Failing that I’m a pretty big fan of what I do now.

Who inspires you and why?
Greta Thunberg rocks. I love that she is a Young Person who has made her voice heard globally. I love that she is unapologetic about wanting those with the power to do what needs to be done to salvage a future for her generation. I love how angry she makes middle aged men. I hope that my daughter can experience the same agency to be strong and vocal about what she believes in and her own future.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think that what I do now does make a difference. I believe so strongly in the power of art to transform – probably if I wasn’t doing this I would be working in climate action.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Ah yes. Back in the good old days when we could leave the state. I am a big fan of Mexico. It’s so colourful and vibrant. The last time I was there was 2012 – I was travelling with a Lally Katz work, Stories I Want to Tell You in Person. I spent a lot of time floating in the Caribbean sea. It was bliss.

When I was a kid my parents used to take us into the bush near Bega. We had a permanent camp set up in the middle of nowhere with a woodfired hot water system and a bathtub under the stars. It was beautiful and I have a lot of good memories of that place. I could be happy holidaying in either of these places. Actually, I could be happy holidaying anywhere.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
As a person who works in Sydney but does the (quite reasonable) commute from Wollongong – I am always making our visitors head down the coast to us. There is a lot of natural beauty in the Illawarra, loads of beautiful beaches, the escarpment, good coffee. I would probably take them to see a show at Merrigong Theatre Company or to the Illawarra Fly treetop walk – both worth the drive. I don’t know what it is about this city but it has a beautiful coastal vibe that makes you not take yourself too seriously. Plus it is much easier to keep 1.5m apart down here in groups of 20 or less.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading this great novel that was only recently released called Jobkeeper Guidelines for Employers. Also Sunlight and Seaweed by Tim Flannery. He breaks down climate science in a way that is so easy to understand and doesn’t make you despair too deeply.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to The Wiggles and ABC Kids, Imagine This, a lot at the moment. But when my kids aren’t around I’m doing a sort of slow crawl back through the records my parents used to listen to when I was a kid, which I mix up with a few excellent 90s throwbacks – all for the nostalgia feels.

Happiness is?
Snuggling with my kids and answering their questions about the world, or listening to them banter with each other.

What does the future hold for you?
Who knows. I have a lot more to give to the industry which I hope I will get to do. My new years resolution last year was that I would learn to karaoke Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez rap verse from Waterfalls by TLC in 2020, so I should probably get on that at some stage.

Daniel is the Executive Director / CEO of Shopfront Arts Co-op – who will reopen their doors to welcome audiences to their newly redesigned home as they present Mallory Sedger’s To My Younger Self, live on stage: 15 – 18 October, and streamed live via Facebook. For more information, visit: www.shopfront.org.au for details.

Image: Daniel Potter – courtesy of Shopfront Arts Co-op