Change is afoot at the much loved National Folk Festival, where longtime director Pam Merrigan is shifting to a full-time focus on the artistic component of her role. Folk Festival board chair Jacqueline Bradly says the move means that a newly created managing director position is now open for applications.
Bradley says that the Festival board and staff have spent much of the past 12 months working on future planning as the National Folk Festival continues to grow in both scope and size.
“The festival landscape around Australia is changing rapidly, particularly with regard to regulatory responsibilities”, Bradley said. She explained that as a consequence, the Festival board has decided to split the two roles, enabling both the artistic director and a new managing director to focus in depth on their respective tasks.
The National Folk Festival attracts around 50,000 visitors to EPIC each Easter, around 15,000 of them unique visitors. Many come from interstate, drawn to Canberra for the extended long weekend event.
Under the new arrangements, the Managing Director will lead the Festival team, with full responsibility for the day-to-day leadership and organisational performance of the Festival. The Artistic Director will set the artistic vision for the Festival and is responsible for developing and implementing consistently high-quality programming.
Bradley said the Festival board was “delighted” that Pam Merrigan had agreed to remain in the role of Artistic Director and will continue to deliver the exemplary programming that has been the hallmark of her time at the Festival. She added that this would also enable clear future planning, and provide valuable support to the new Managing Director role.
“The National Folk Festival celebrates a proud history of more than 50 years serving the folk community”, Bradley said., “Our next steps will maintain and strengthen our role as a nationally recognised, annual exposition and celebration of folk culture”
The new Managing Director role is being advertised currently, and applications close on April 24. The full position description and selection criteria can be obtained from www.folkfestival.org.au/apply/positions-vacant/