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Adelaide Festival appoints new executive director

Adelaide Festival

Arts leader Elaine Chia – currently CEO of Sydney’s City Recital Hall –  has been announced as the new executive director of the Adelaide Festival and will move to South Australia next year to take up the role.

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Chia, who will work alongside joint artistic directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy, will replace executive director Rob Brookman, who recently revealed that he will retire at the end of the 2020 Adelaide Festival following a 45-year career in the arts.

Festival Chair Judy Potter described Chia’s appointment as “a coup” for the organisation.

“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,” she said.

“As a passionate advocate for the arts, her whole-of-business approach brings sensitivity to business and arts practices across diverse cultures and scenarios.”

Chia has been CEO of the City Recital Hall, considered one of Sydney’s leading arts venues, since 2016. She has more than 20 years’ experience in arts management roles, including with the Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra.

She will take up her new role in mid-April next year, and said in a statement that she relishes the prospect of heading up the Adelaide Festival.

“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 [am] also looking forward to making Adelaide my new home.”

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