The Power of Cultural Infrastructure

The Power of Cultural Infrastructure

The power of
cultural infrastructure

The power of
cultural infrastructure

As part of the ongoing Amplify program presented in partnership with RACV, we are proud to be working with Benalla Art Gallery to present a series of four talks by leaders in the sector exploring ‘The Power of Cultural Infrastructure’.

The talks follow the recent completion of a Feasibility Study and Business Case by Urban Enterprise into possible redevelopment of Benalla Art Gallery. The study assessed the cost benefit, and social and cultural outcomes of redevelopment. The study showed an opportunity to deliver favourably against a number of key objectives:

  1. Strengthen the Benalla Art Gallery and its role as a leading interpreter and communicator of Australia’s regional cultural heritage
  2. Strengthen Benalla and the High Country as an Arts and Cultural destination
  3. Strengthen community health, wellbeing and resilience
  4. Grow the local and regional economy
  5. Create lasting and memorable experiences
  6. Improve the storage, conservation and management of the collection
  7. Improve the long-term financial viability of the Gallery
  8. Activate the Lake and Botanical Gardens Precinct

Each presenter in this talk series explores real world achievements which resonate with these aspirational outcomes, and will provide guests with insight and inspiration in equal measure.

Talk #4
TARRAGH CUNNINGHAM
on ‘Opportunities and Experiences’

Drawing on 25 years’ experience in the gallery sector, Tarragh Cunningham will explore the growth of The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA’s flagship exhibition series. Since 1993, the APT has drawn almost four million visitors to ten exhibitions with a compelling and surprising selection of the region’s most innovative contemporary art.

Through the lens of the APT, Tarragh will discuss the opportunities it created for the Queensland Art Gallery’s Collection and infrastructure and how the series became a catalyst for the institution’s second site, the Gallery of Modern Art, announced in 2000 and opened in 2006.

Tarragh will also look at how QAGOMA’s exhibition program has built meaningful visitor experiences and boosted cultural tourism, while touching on cultural tourism trends in the sector, pre- and post-COVID.


Tarragh Cunningham is responsible for audience attraction, retention and development, and the Gallery’s self-managed commercial services. She leads the brand, marketing, communication, digital engagement and tourism strategies; sponsorship and grant body partnerships; and retail, catering and events services. Tarragh has worked in the museum and gallery sector for over 25 years. She was previously QAGOMA’s Exhibitions Manager from 2008 until 2015 and prior to that Exhibitions Manager at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), where she held various positions from 1996. As Exhibitions Manager at QAGOMA, Tarragh was involved with the development and management of exhibitions and touring projects at a national and international level and has been a contributor to the development of policy and strategic planning at the Gallery.

She has undertaken postgraduate studies in Arts Management and Museum Leadership, and completed the Asialink Leaders Program in 2013. In 2019 she was invited to join Creative Partnerships’ Arts Leadership Mentoring Program, created to help organisations get to the next level in their operations through a mentorship. In 2020 she was accepted into the Australia Council Leadership Program.

SATURDAY 12TH March 2022
10.30AM

Ledger Gallery
Benalla Art Gallery
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672

Talk #3
bREE pICKERING
on ‘CREATING SPACE FOR STRONGER COMMUNITIES’

In the lead up to all major cultural projects, the benefits of improved community identity, pride, social cohesion and even health and wellbeing are enthusiastically promoted. But can art museums really achieve all that? In regional Australia?

Bree Pickering has led Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) in the role of Director since 2016. Arriving just one year into the life of the museum presented Bree with both an opportunity and a challenge. First, to deliver on the hype and promise, second, to make it sustainable. In this presentation, Bree will share successes, bumps in the road, and insights from the early years of the museum’s operation. Now in its sixth year, MAMA has become well known for its innovative exhibition program, diverse and challenging public programs, and vibrant education centre. From successfully engaging with artists, to building local audiences, to running a sustainable business – Bree will share examples of the museum winning and losing as it experimented its way from being a regional art gallery to a world-class cultural experience.


Bree Pickering has been the Director of Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) since 2016. Leading the new museum since just after its establishment in 2015, Bree has shaped its identity, embedded it in the community, and prompted a rethinking about what a contemporary art museum can be in regional Australia.

Previously, Bree was Executive Director at Vox Populi, a long-running experimental art space in Philadelphia, Cultural Program Manager at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC and Curator at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney. Bree has supported artist projects in artist run and public spaces across Australia and in the United States.

SATURDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2022
10.30AM

Ledger Gallery
Benalla Art Gallery
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672

Talk #2
NICOLE DURLING
on ‘GOING OUTSIDE THE GALLERY’

How can galleries be architecturally and programmatically developed to not only complement and integrate with the surrounding environment, but to also positively engage a broader cross section of their community?

Drawing on her experience as part of the team establishing Tasmania’s cultural phenomenon – the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) – and touching on ambitious future plans for Craft Victoria, Nicole Durling explores how cultural institutions can engage communities outside of the physical bounds of the institution. As a Board member for Rising, and the former Melbourne International Art Festival, Durling will also discuss the positioning of Rising as a festival driven to achieve broad community engagement and significant cultural impact.


With a background as a practising ceramicist and lecturer in the medium, Nicole Durling was appointed as Executive Director of Craft Victoria in mid-2021, charged with writing a bold new chapter for the organisation.

Durling arrived at Craft Victoria after 15 years with MONA in Hobart, including serving as the organisation’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions responsible for leading the Curatorial and Collections teams. Selected as one of MONA’s foundation team, she was a key collaborator in the building design, curatorial direction, brand establishment, design and exhibition installation of the MONA collection prior to its opening in 2011.

Durling has curated and developed projects including exhibitions, sound art performances, ephemeral interventions and permanent commissions. From 2009 she was the Artistic Curator for MONA FOMA festival and curated several projects for the Dark Mofo festival from 2013 to 2017.

 

 

Sunday 30th January 2022
10.30AM

Ledger Gallery
Benalla Art Gallery
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672

Talk #1
Katrina Sedgwick OAM
on ‘The new ACMI’

Katrina has been Director & CEO of ACMI since 2015. She has a particular interest in supporting cross-disciplinary practice and an extensive background as a commissioner, creative producer and festival director. Her previous roles include Head of Arts for the national broadcaster ABC TV as well as founding Director/CEO of Adelaide Film Festival. The Festival’s $1 million AUD AFF Investment Fund was recognised with a week-long celebration at MoMA in 2011. She is on a number of arts and advisory boards, and in 2020 was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to performing arts, screen industries and visual arts administration.


Over the past 20 years, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has grown from an idea to the world’s most visited museum of screen culture.

On 11 February 2021, ACMI re-opened in Federation Square; after five years of planning and a twenty-month long closure, a visionary new institution was unveiled. In this talk, ACMI’s CEO and Director, Katrina Sedgwick OAM, will explore how the redevelopment has transformed ACMI architecturally, technologically and programmatically.

Sedgwick notes the “new museum builds upon the 18 years of success since ACMI began, and leverages the talent and capacity in our organisation and across our networks to offer a truly contemporary museum experience.”

Pre-COVID, ACMI attracted 1.5 million visitors per annum to its Federation Square premises, underlining the immense appeal of compelling cultural tourism experiences. In May 2021, ACMI opened its first Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition since 2018, Disney: The Magic of Animation. Attendance figures to the exhibition have rivalled pre-pandemic numbers, and as Sedgwick notes, “it’s just the start of things to come.”

 

 

Saturday 11th December 2021
10.30AM

Ledger Gallery
Benalla Art Gallery
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.