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Elaine Chia resigns as Adelaide Festival Executive Director

Elaine Chia resigns as Adelaide Festival Executive Director
September 24, 2021

The Adelaide Festival Board has announced the resignation of Elaine Chia from her role as Executive Director and will leave Adelaide Festival. Chia will depart in November to take on a new role as Chief Executive of a major interstate cultural project.

Chia joined the Festival in March 2020 as the impact of COVID-19 was being understood and felt across Australia. She successfully led the dedicated Adelaide Festival team through a myriad of pandemic-related challenges to deliver a full 17-day international multi-arts festival which surpassed box office, sponsorship and philanthropy targets, generating an estimated gross expenditure of $42.5 million for South Australia.  

Commenting on the announcement, Adelaide Festival Chair, Judy Potter shared “The Adelaide Festival Board joins me in acknowledging and thanking Elaine for her contribution as Executive Director to the success of the 2021 and upcoming 2022 Adelaide Festivals. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”

Chia added “it has been a privilege to spend the past year and half working with a talented team and contributing to making Adelaide Festival one of the best in the world. I’d like to thank the support and friendship of the many in the South Australian arts community who have welcomed me, and I look forward to continuing those connections beyond 2021.”

The Board has appointed Kathie Massey as an interim Executive Director while the search is conducted for a permanent successor. Massey will lead delivery of the 2022 Adelaide Festival.

Massey is a highly respected arts leader and Adelaide Festival is pleased she has agreed to step into the role while a search is undertaken for a successor. Massey has led a number of Australia’s foremost arts organisations including as Executive Director of Arts South Australia, Deputy Chief Executive of Sydney Opera House, Assistant General Manager of Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne, Chair of Carrick Hill Trust and served on the board at Brink Productions.

The Adelaide Festival Board will commence recruitment of a new Executive Director later this year.

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25th March 2021 - Adelaide Festival Centre announces its Autumn 2021 season

16th March 2021 - 2021 Adelaide Festival beats box office target

18th February 2021 - Adelaide Festival announces new ‘pop-up’ entertainment hub

10th February 2021 - Adelaide Festival Centre’s major performance space to close for up to seven months from mid-July

30th December 2020 - Record-breaking voting sees new stars celebrated on Adelaide Festival Centre’s Walk of Fame

3rd December 2020 - Adelaide Festival Artistic Directors discuss why 36th Adelaide Festival is special

19th November 2020 - South Australian COVID-19 circuit breaker sees Adelaide Festival Centre cancel all performances

20th October 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Talks focus on cultural engagement between Australia and Asia

14th October 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre reports 77 shows cancelled during Coronavirus shutdown

13th October 2020 - Plan for Adelaide Festival 2021 to be held in outdoor event spaces

12th August 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre welcomes audiences to newly developed Her Majesty’s Theatre

20th June 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre trust announces new appointments 

18th March 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre announce venue closures

13th October 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre executive fights back against online ticket scalpers and reseller sites

8th October 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre set to host inaugural Asia-Pacific Creative Cities Conference

19th August 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation launches ‘Buy A Seat’ fundraising campaign


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