December 18, 2019
Introducing Adelaide Festival's new Executive Director
The Adelaide Festival Board has announced respected arts leader Elaine Chia will join the senior leadership team of the Festival as Executive Director in April 2020.
Elaine Chia will work alongside Joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy. Rob Brookman AM will retire from his current role as Executive Director following delivery of the 2020 Adelaide Festival and hand-over with Ms Chia.
Elaine Chia, who has held the role of Chief Executive Officer of the City Recital Hall in Sydney since 2016, has over twenty years in senior positions in arts management encompassing music, theatre and visual arts. Prior to her current role as CEO of City Recital Hall, she held the position of Director, International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts, delivering as public-private partnership projects, the Australian representation at three Venice Art Biennales and the redevelopment of the Australian Pavilion in Venice, Italy. Elaine has also held management positions in organisations including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (The University of Sydney), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra.
She has developed and led numerous orchestral and chamber music ensemble tours nationally and internationally to Europe, South America, Asia and the Pacific, and produced performances and recordings for commercial and non-commercial groups.
Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter described the new appointment as “a coup” for the Festival.
“The Adelaide Festival Board is absolutely delighted to have secured the unique talents of Elaine Chia to work alongside our Adelaide Festival team to build upon the outstanding success of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 festivals. As a passionate advocate for the arts, her whole-of-business approach brings sensitivity to business and arts practices across diverse cultures and scenarios.”
Adelaide Festival Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy said: “We are absolutely delighted with the appointment of Elaine Chia to this central leadership role at the Adelaide Festival. We both worked with Elaine twenty years ago when she was employed as Business Manager at Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney. Even at that early stage in her career she impressed us with her intellect, warmth, tenacity and instinct for building relationships between artists and audiences. Since that time her professional achievements and industry reputation have soared and we are very much looking forward to welcoming her to Adelaide and into the heart of the Festival.”
Incoming Executive Director Elaine Chia said she relishes the prospect of heading up a festival she has long admired. “The Adelaide Festival is known the world over as one of the best, and has defined Adelaide as a city of artistic pilgrimage. I vividly recall my first Adelaide Festival experience in 1996. I’m thrilled to join such an eminent team in leading it into its next exciting phase, and also looking forward to making Adelaide my new home.”
Elaine Chia will commence in the role of Executive Director in mid-April 2020.