Yarra City Council’s Yarra Arts Advisory Committee (YAARTS), Visual Arts Panel (VAP) and Room to Create Panel are the three key committees that provide the formal mechanism for Council to enable community participation in arts and cultural planning and development.
YAARTS was established in 1997 as a community advisory committee to Yarra City Council to provide advice on arts and cultural development in the City of Yarra. It is comprised of representatives from Yarra based arts and community organisations, local artists and cultural industries.
The Committee provides a formal mechanism for Council to consult with key stakeholders, seek specialist advice and enable community participation in arts and cultural planning and development.
The key role of the YAARTS Committee is to:
- provide advice on the implementation of the Arts and Cultural Strategy 2016 – 2020
- provide comment on relevant Council policies and strategies
- make recommendations to Council on the arts streams of the Community Grants Program
- facilitate formal and informal communication and consultation processes with local arts and cultural industries, practitioners, organisations and residents
- provide advice to Council on issues related to the City of Yarra Art and Heritage Collection and public art through the Visual Arts Panel (VAP) as a sub-committee to YAARTS
- provide advice to Council on issues related to cultural infrastructure and the Room to Create Fund through the Room to Create Panel as a sub-committee of YAARTS
The term of office for ordinary YAARTS members is for a period of three years. Members must be residents and/or work within the City of Yarra.
YAARTS meets for a minimum of four meetings per year. Additional meetings are called as required.
Current members of the YAARTS committee
Yarra Councillors Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei and Mike McEvoy are members of the committee.
Michaela Coventry comes from a strong dance and arts production background. Michaela has just commenced as the Executive Producer of Speak Percussion which is a flexible line-up of Australia’s finest creative percussionists that has a 13-year history of commissioning, performing and creating innovative new work. Prior to this, Michaela was the General Manager/Executive Producer of Megafun, (a company which provides creative and technical services to the arts) and Executive Producer of the contemporary dance company Lucy Guerin Inc for seven years. She currently sits on the Arts House Advisory Panel in Melbourne as well as the Playing Australia Panel for the Australia Council. Michaela lives in Collingwood.
Emma Crimmings is currently the Assistant Director of Artbank, which is an Australian Government support program that acquires the work of living, Australian contemporary artists – making its collection available to the general public through a leasing program. Formally the Director of Gertrude Contemporary, Emma has also worked as the Acting Director and Program Manager of Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC, as a documentary filmmaker and as a curator at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Australian Centre for Photography. In 2015, Emma was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake international research on artists residences programs and creative place-making.
Linsey Gosper is a Melbourne based artist, curator and educator. She is director of Strange Neighbour artist studios and community hire black and white darkroom. Previously Strange Neighbour operated for three and a half years as a multi-discipline, curator led gallery space. Linsey will continue to teach photography from the black and white darkroom and curate and exhibit independently. Linsey is the Gallery Manager at the Centre for Contemporary Photography.
Lou Oppenheim is the General Manager of the highly regarded Circus Oz and is one of three Co-CEOs, working together with the Artistic Director and Head Circus Artists to manage all aspects of the organisation, reporting to the Board. Prior to this Lou was the Director of Operations at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), having first joined the organisation in late 2003. Prior to this position, Lou was a Consultant with the international strategic planning and management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group, working in Australia, New Zealand and America.
Lou is the current Chair of YAARTS.
Justin Rudge runs Public Bookings – a Melbourne-based artist booking and management service. Justin began booking and management at The Standard Hotel in Fitzroy, and from there has developed a small but significant roster of artists. Under the banner of Public Bookings, Justin offers a full service arrangement from local shows to festivals, recording, planning, tour logistics and management and everything in between. Also a recording engineer and performer in his own right, Justin has completed two 35+ date tours of Europe with Dirty York in the last two years. He is also founding member of the team behind Leaps and Bounds Music Festival in the City of Yarra, and in November 2014 was elected to the board of Music Victoria.
Image: Dance Massive at Dancehouse (2014).