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Adelaide Festival chief executive resigns

Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival chief executive Karen Bryant has resigned from the role she has held for the past four years, saying she and her partner have decided to move interstate for family reasons.

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In an email addressed to “friends and colleagues”, Bryant said she would be leaving the Festival on May 13.

She said the decision to resign was not one she had taken lightly, after 25 years working in diverse roles in the Adelaide arts industry.

“I have enjoyed my time with the Festival and worked with one of the most amazing and dedicated teams,” she said.

“A very healthy surplus has been achieved, and with such a critical, artistic and financial success for the 2016 event it does somehow seem timely.

“I am extremely proud of what the team here at the Festival has achieved this year, with ticket sales for the core 2016 festival the highest for more than 13 years.

“Almost 80 per cent of available seats across all Adelaide Festival presented shows were filled and Writers’ Week continued to shine, achieving record crowds and record book sales.”

In February, InDaily reported that the Adelaide Festival had been told by the State Government to expect a $1 million funding cut for the 2016-17 year.

At the time, Bryant said the organisation was still trying to work out what that would mean for the Festival next year, but added: “There’s no doubt that a reduction in funding of that size will have to have an impact.”

Bryant, who declined to speak to InDaily this morning, took up her role with the Festival in 2012, having previously held the position of associate director and programming manager at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The Adelaide Festival also this year farewelled artistic director David Sefton, who delivered his fourth and final program in February-March, with national arts leaders Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy appointed as co-artistic directors for a three-year term.

A new Adelaide Festival chief executive has not yet been announced.

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