Artistic Director Wendy Martin leads the Festival into an exciting new period of international excellence and brings to the 2016–19 Festivals a commitment to community, learning and participation.
Wendy’s career embraces television production, theatre and dance programming and production, event production and a contribution to the arts through board membership. She has a track record as a commissioner of innovative theatre and dance projects, and of developing major programming initiatives at a number of the world’s leading performing arts centres.
Previously, Wendy was Head of Performance & Dance at Southbank Centre, London, where her achievements include creating the acclaimed disability arts festival Unlimited. A celebration of disability arts and culture on an unprecedented scale Unlimited had its inaugural outing during the Paralympic Games and was a highlight of the London2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Wendy joined Sydney Opera House as a producer in 2000 and in 2006, was appointed Head of Theatre and Dance. Her programming and commissioning initiatives made an important contribution to Sydney Opera House’s reputation for programming excellence and as a producer of new Australian work.
At Sydney Opera House she was the founding curator of Message Sticks Indigenous Arts Festival; she developed the international performance series Adventures in the Dark and in 2008 founded Spring Dance Australia’s only international dance festival.
Wendy has served on arts boards the Australian and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts (London), British Dance Edition 2012, Fuel Theatre and Shaun Parker and Company as well as serving on juries including Made in Scotland 2013 and Be Festival.
Wendy has commissioned and produced a range of productions including Wild Swans, by choreographer Meryl Tankard and composer Elena Kats-Chernin for The Australian Ballet; Honour Bound by Nigel Jamieson and Garry Stewart, that won a Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Critics awards in 2007;Ruby’s Story a staged concert by Paul Grabowsky, Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach and Nigel Jamieson’s Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu/Wrong Skina collaboration with the Chooky Dancers from Elcho Island.
More recently at Southbank Centre she commissioned Groove on Down the Road a hip-hop dance theatre project inspired by the Wizard of Oz created by Kate Prince and ZooNation; Bryony Kimming’s and Tim Grayburn’s Fake it Til You Make It that has garnered awards across the world including the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe First and Claire Cunningham’s Guide Gods commissioned in collaboration with the Glasgow2014 cultural program.
In 2000 Wendy joined Cultural Affairs at the City of Sydney and curated an outdoor performance program across the city during the Olympic Games.
Prior to these roles Wendy was a television arts and documentary producer working for ABC and SBS Television and Film Australia.