Performing Lines are delighted to announce their inaugural patrons, company founder and industry legend Wendy Blacklock AM, and their former Chair of eight years Bill Harris. The position of company patron honours the invaluable contribution of Wendy and Bill to the formation of the Performing Lines mission.
After joining the Australian Elizabeth Theatre Trust 1982 as the co-ordinator of the Entrepreneurial Department, Wendy established the Australian Content Division, a pioneering initiative in the promotion of Australian culture across the nation and abroad.
In 1990 the Australian Content Division was formally incorporated as an independent company, Performing Lines led by Wendy as General Manager. During her 21 years of leadership, she expanded the reach of the company through the establishment of Performing Lines WA and Tasmania Performs, constantly championing local independent arts and First Nations works, as well as introducing the world to Australia’s cultural offerings.
“After 30 years Performing Lines still has an important role to play in supporting a wide variety of artists,” said Wendy Blacklock AM. “Developing unique talents with new ideas and ways of presenting work that builds an Australian creative vision”.
Bill Harris has had a similarly long association with Performing Lines, first serving as Production Manager from 1995 to 1998. In 2013 he rejoined Performing Lines as Chair and during his eight year tenure lead the company through a period of significant growth and change.
He brought to the role his extensive experience as the former Programming Director of Sydney Festival, the Production Director of Adelaide Festival, as well as a host of other impressive roles in the arts. Bill affirmed and solidified the organisation’s commitment to Australian independent artists and the imperative of fostering work which is rebellious, marginal, and provocative.
“Performing Lines is a unique institution within Australia’s cultural landscape. While deeply embedded in the foundations of this country’s performing arts heritage, it also continues to bravely set new pathways, giving voice to the multi-layered society we have become and strive to be,” said Bill Harris.
“As a gateway, as a nurturer, as a stepping-stone and as an industry leader, Performing?Lines?has always been and will?continue to be the company that Australian artists, technicians, administrators and audiences look to for inspiration and hope.”
“I am deeply grateful and humbled to be recognised as a Patron and?acknowledge?Wendy Blacklock, whose vision and tenacity paved the way for Performing Lines to be the powerhouse it remains today,” he added.
As Patrons Wendy and Bill will be permanently recognised for their generosity and vision, and as ongoing sources of strength as Performing Lines continues to deepen its impact in the Australian arts sector.
Building on the stable foundation they created, and now working under Executive Producer Marion Pott’s vision, Performing Lines remains committed to championing Australia’s most audacious independent artists, and producing contemporary provocative works that speak to the plurality of Australian voices.
“On behalf of the Performing Lines board, I am thrilled that we are recognising the immense contribution both Wendy and Bill have made to Performing Lines,” said Chair of the Performing Lines Board, Robi Stanton. “They are an inspiration to so many of us and we are grateful that they continue to be our greatest supporters and advocates.”
“Across the past 40 years, Performing Lines has made an enormous impact culturally – developing new and exciting works, discovering independent artists and delighting audiences across Australia and internationally.”
“We have an enormously exciting future ahead of us and are so thankful to Wendy and Bill for everything they have contributed and their enduring ambition for this fantastic company,” said Stanton.
Performing Lines continues to invest in projects across Australia, providing platforms and opportunities for an ever expanding array of audacious independent artists through our producing teams in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. For more information, visit: www.performinglines.org.au for details.
Image: Wendy Blacklock AM and Bill Harris – courtesy of Performing Lines