Arts OutWest has found their new executive director, and many members of the the Bathurst arts community will be delighted to know that she's a very familiar face.
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Kylie Shead will commence the role on March 21 after nearly 16 years at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre [BMEC], mostly as the venue's creative producer and Local Stages co-ordinator.
Ms Shead said she's both excited and nervous about taking on the new role, where she will succeed Tracey Callinan, who accepted the chief executive role with Regional Arts NSW in December after 13 years with Arts OutWest.
"I've got some big shoes to fill," Ms Shead said.
"I have great admiration for the work Tracey has done in the role, and I'm excited to work with the fantastic staff and board at Arts OutWest to advocate and promote the role of arts practice across the Central West.
With plenty of connections already across the Bathurst, Mudgee and Cowra areas, Ms Shead said she's looking forward to explore the nature of the arts in other communities.
"I'm lucky enough to already know many practicing artists across the region of numerous disciplines, and I hope to help them explore their practice further," she said.
"The role at BMEC has already exposed me to the role of grant funding and advocacy in regional arts practice, so I hope the partnerships I have developed while working here will serve me well."
Ms Shead said Arts OutWest is really lucky to have so many vibrant communities looking to further promote the efforts of theatre performers, visual artists, writers, musicians and dancers in regional NSW.
"Arts OutWest has done a great job promoting these artists and assisting them with funding, support and professional development," she said.
But Ms Shead will be greatly missed at BMEC, having played a key role in a number of prominent programs, including the Bathurst Writers' and Readers' Festival, Inland Sea of Sound, the Local Emerging Artists Program [LEAP] and numerous Local Stages productions.
"Both shows are worthy of being performed on any stage in Australia, and considering they were developed during a very difficult time for the world, it goes to show regional arts is starting to gain traction at a time metropolitan areas have been limited by the pandemic."
Ms Shead said it's going to be tough to leave BMEC behind, but is looking forward to contributing further to the growth of regional arts.
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