The Helpmann Academy InReview Mentorship program is a joint venture between Helpmann Academy and InReview that seeks to develop the next generation of arts reviewers and rebuild the practice of robust discourse and analysis of South Australian performing and visual arts.

The program – now in its fourth year – connects experienced arts writers with emerging voices to strengthen editorial coverage of arts and culture in South Australia.

Edmund Black is a recent graduate from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. He studied a Bachelor of Music (Advanced) and is an emerging jazz musician and highly accomplished pianist. Black has been playing music since he was eight years old and is dedicated to sharing his love of music with others both directly through his practice, and indirectly through opportunities as a writer.

Through this mentorship, Black is looking to hone his writing skills, develop his craft and build a portfolio of published articles. He is hoping the experience will improve his writing skills, and may also lead to future opportunities to write more arts reviews for publication.

“I firmly believe that developing my skillsets as a writer and as a performer side by side will enable me to improve faster, develop further, and provide more nuance to both,” he says.

Brooke Ferguson is a recent Bachelor of Contemporary Art graduate from the University of South Australia. She is an emerging visual artist and arts worker based in Adelaide/Tarndanya. Her visual arts practice encompasses photography, painting and dancing, with a particular interest in themes of abstraction, expression, and the everyday.

As an arts worker, Ferguson is drawn to methods of arts communication, including curation, facilitating conversations, and writing. Through the mentorship, she is excited to develop her skills to talk about her own visual arts practice, while also learning critical new ways of writing that support her career development.

“The support of a mentor will help me stretch my writing and critical-thinking skills, and allow me to deepen my understanding of possible career pathways for an arts writer,” she says.

Black begins his mentorship this week with experienced music writer Graham Strahle, who will assist him in building his reviewing skills and producing a number of articles for publication on InReview.

Brooke will start her mentorship later in the year.

Four emerging writers ­– Michelle Wakim (2021), Gianluca Noble (2022), Shannon Pearce (2023) and Nicky Tsz Tung Li (2023) ­– have previously completed the Helpmann Academy InReview Mentorship program and are now freelance contributors to InReview.

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