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Executive Director to Depart Adelaide Festival


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

The Adelaide Festival Board announced today that Elaine Chia has resigned from her role as Executive Director and will leave Adelaide Festival.

Elaine joined the Festival in March 2020 as the impact of COVID-19 was being understood and felt across the nation. 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, Chair of Adelaide Festival Judy Potter said, "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."

Elaine will depart in November to take on a new role as CEO of a major interstate cultural project.

Elaine Chia said: "It has been a privilege to spend the past year and half engaged in the task of helping make our Festival one of the best in the world. The Festival has had a profound effect on the culture and identity of our city and will continue to do so. We are about to release another brilliant program from Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy, which will further cement their era as one of the Festival's finest."

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

Kathie 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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