The University of Western Australia has begun an international search for a new Artistic Director for the Perth International Arts Festival, the oldest international arts festival in Australia and Western Australia's premier cultural event.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the four-festival contract of current Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza, was due to conclude following the 2011 Festival.
"Under the direction of Shelagh Magadza, the Perth International Arts Festival has consolidated its place in the international cultural arena and emerged as a financially sound and significant catalyst for artistic, cultural and social interaction within Western Australia," Professor Robson said.
"While we are all eagerly anticipating the 2011 Perth Festival, it is important that planning begin for 2012. It is in that context that we are advertising nationally and internationally to ensure a managed and smooth transition."
Ms Magadza said: "The role of Artistic Director of the Perth International Arts Festival has been a great privilege and it offers wonderful opportunities."
"This Festival enjoys both a strong international reputation and fantastic support from within its own community. Over my four year cycle as Artistic Director, I have constantly been reminded how important the Perth Festival is in creating communities of imagination that inspire and invigorate our lives. The excitement of being able to bring artists to this unique part of the world and to support the creation of new work is a great reward."
Perth Festival Chairman Michael Smith said that under Ms Magadza, the Perth Festival had presented an annual program of the highest standard combining international works with Indigenous events and the work of the local arts sector.
"Under Ms Magadza's direction, the Perth Festival was able to engage with people more intimately than ever, with audiences not only attending performances, but becoming part of them," he said.
The Perth International Arts Festival was founded in 1953 by The University of Western Australia. Initially known as the Festival of Perth, it began with a season of outdoor productions in UWA's Somerville Auditorium and the Sunken Garden.
It has grown to become a festival with an enviable worldwide reputation in the arts for its innovative development, presentation of new works and provision of quality arts.
"The University's commitment to the Festival reflects UWA's important role within the community as an academic, scientific and cultural resource that benefits all West Australians," Professor Robson said.