Eventide Conversations: Arts Advocacy - We are Essential

Tue 20 April 2021

Presented by: Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association and Australian Performing Arts Market

The project is supported by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations

Program curated by:

Ms Ching Ching Ho (Independent Director and Producer)

Ms Heidi Lee (Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet)

TALK # 1 Arts Advocacy – We Are Essential

Arts Advocacy – We are Essential?

20 April 7:30pm AEST/ 5:30pm HKT via ZOOM

Our first discussion will unearth strategies for survival, advocacy and programming in the performing arts sector during the new normal we now find ourselves in. What are the new and emerging challenges and what has proven to be effective? In this current phase of recovery, we explore how our sector can continue to demonstrate and communicate value to the community and government.

Host, Rani Pramesti (Theatre Network Australia) is joined by panellists Lena Nahlous (Executive Director, Diversity Arts Australia), Helen So (Lead, Arts & Culture, Our Hong Kong Foundation), Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn] (Independent Artist, Boomerang and Spear) & Winsome Chow (Chief Executive, Hong Kong Arts Development Council) to discuss shared concepts and frameworks that are effective across borders.


Rani Pramesti – Host

Rani Pramesti (she/they) designs and delivers programs and services that grow the next generation of creative visionaries, thinkers and makers. As an advocate for cultural equity, Rani facilitates strategic advocacy campaigns to drive home the value of arts and culture to people in positions of power. Since graduating from the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of Arts in 2013, Rani has dedicated themselves to collaborations with underrepresented groups in arts and culture, working inter-sectionally with culturally diverse practitioners, First Nations communities and Deaf/Disabled people.

Rani is currently Theatre Network Australia’s Program Producer for the Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI) and Strategic Visioning. She is also the Creative Strategist at Creatives of Colour: a research-driven collective of First Nations, Black-identifying and People of Colour creatives, based on Wurundjeri Country (Melbourne).  

Rani works, learns and loves across Kulin Country (Melbourne), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Ohlone Country (San Francisco).

Winsome Chow

Ms Winsome CHOW is the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC). Prior to joining HKADC, Ms CHOW worked in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government and led the management and programming of 14  performing arts venues. With extensive experience and knowledge in arts administration, she proactively develops art programmes and collaborating initiatives in HKADC to incubate local artistic talents and promotes cultural exchange. She has spearheaded a festival of Hong Kong talents, “Jockey Club New Arts Power”, to nurture home-grown artists and encourage creative practices. She is also serving on the board or arts related committees of several arts and cultural institutions. Ms Chow obtained a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Master degree in Human Resources Management and Development from the University of Leicester in the UK. 

Lena Nahlous

Lena Nahlous is an experienced CEO, producer, curator, artistic director and facilitator with a long-term commitment to racial equity in the arts and creative sectors. She is currently the Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia and host of The Colour Cycle podcast. She has over 20 years-experience in arts, cultural and media organisations where she has developed artist brokerage and training programs focusing on creatives from culturally diverse, refugee and migrant backgrounds and young people. Lena has managed and overseen research such as Shifting the Balance: a report on cultural diversity in leadership within Australia’s arts, screen and creative sectors (2019) and capacity-building initiatives like the Creative Equity Toolkit (2020). Recent projects include Stories from the Future and I am Not a Virus Australia, responding to the rise of anti-Asian racism in Australia.

Helen So

Helen So leads the Arts Innovation team in policy research and advocacy at Our Hong Kong Foundation, the largest public policy thinktank in Hong Kong. Her public service includes various advisory roles appointed by the Hong Kong Government: she currently serves as Member of the Advisory Committee on Arts Development, and Member of the Museum Advisory Committee. She is also Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum Board under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. Ms So holds a Master of Studies (MSt) in Musicology & Ethnomusicology at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford.  She is a cellist and continues to perform today.

Kylie Bracknell

Kylie Bracknell (formerly Kylie Farmer) [Kaarljilba Kaardn] is an accomplished actress, voice-over artist, television presenter, public speaker, consultant, writer, director and producer from the Noongar region – the south west of Western Australia. Passionate about language revival, Kylie has developed innovative works completely in Noongar language, including the reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth titled Hecate (2020), performance of Shakespearean sonnets at Shakespeare’s Globe in London (2012), two re-voiced episodes of the award-winning animation series Little J & Big Cuz (2019), and most recently Fist of Fury Noongar Daa (2020-21), the first feature film to be dubbed in an Australian language. She also delivered a TEDx talk in Manly (2014) to raise awareness of Indigenous languages in Australia and was a guest panelist on ABC’s Q&A ‘Shakespeare special’ (2016). As an actress, Kylie has appeared in theatre productions Black is the New White (2017-19), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (2016), Wulamanayuwi & the Seven Pamanui (2013), The White Divers of Broome (2012), The Sapphires (2010), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2009), Muttacar Sorry Business (2009), Romeo & Juliet (2008), One Day in ’67 (2004), King Hit (2002), Aliwa (2000) and Booyi Koora Koora (1998), and numerous television programs and films. Kylie’s directing credits include Fist of Fury Noongar Daa for Perth Festival and Boomerang and Spear (2020-21), Hecate for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company in association with Bell Shakespeare (2019-20), ‘Don’t Ask What the Bird Look Like’ at Queensland Theatre for Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (2018-19) and Windmill Baby as ‘Associate Artist’ at Belvoir Street Theatre (2011). She served as co-artistic director for the large-scale Welcome to Country event as a part of the 2006 Perth International Arts Festival. She was employed by Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre (now known as Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company) for eleven years, was stationed as Program Manager of the Media and Screen Industry Indigenous Employment Program for Screen Australia, and Program Manager of the Indigenous Department at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Kylie is currently employed as Associate Artist at Perth Festival as a leader in their programming team, and a recent 2020 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards recipient.