Tasmania's Festival of Voices Announces New General Manager Paul Kooperman


Tasmania's premier winter festival, the Festival of Voices today announced the appointment of Paul Kooperman as General Manager, joining festival director Kris Stewart in managing this iconic Hobart event.

Most recently, Paul has been National Development Manager for artsHub and CEO of the peak national body for poetry, Australian Poetry Ltd, which he took to great heights. Initiatives developed there included the Cafe Poet Program, placing poets in cafes as poets-in-residence around the country Wow Vows (poets writing vows for soon-to-be brides and grooms), and Dear Dad, a poetry publication for Fathers Day. At Australian Poetry, Paul coordinated international tours, national festivals, initiated workshops with refugees and developed online and smartphone applications.

An alumni of the Australia Council's Emerging Leaders Development Program, Paul has a varied background in the arts, starting his career as a writer for Home and Away before writing for a slate of Australian teleVision Productions as well as features for Stacey Testro's Production Company (executive producer of the SAW horror film series). In 2011, Paul was commissioned to co-write the musical, DragQueensland, produced at the Queensland Music Festival and is the founder of community arts festival producer StripFest.

Paul is excited to be working with Kris Stewart and the festival, to focus on its growth and success over the next few years.

"Other than the nuts of bolts of managing operations, I would like to help the festival build relationships nationally and internationally, increase audience engagement and create a strong online presence for festival activities. Tasmania is a rapidly growing arts community and The Festival of Voices is a major catalyst for this growth. What an exciting place to be! It's a privilege to be offered the opportunity to be part of it", Kooperman reports.

Now in its 8th year, Festival of Voices is Tasmania's largest winter cultural event, and Australia's premier festival celebrating voice in its many forms, including choir and ensemble singing, musical theatre, cabaret, concert performances, and the spoken word.

The festival stages a diverse program of free and ticketed concerts, workshops and events for all ages and abilities, presented by world-renowned guest artists and vocal teachers.
Utilising Hobart's finest venues Festival of Voices has proven itself to be an innovative and vibrant creative initiative, attracting significant cultural visitation in the heart of winter. It has experienced a 300% growth in just the past four years, with its key cultural point of difference helping it to carve a place in the local and national arts calendar, and it continues to emerge as a significant and highly professional arts festival on the national and international stage.

In 2012 Festival of Voices spectacularly entered its next stage of growth, with an increase in duration from five to ten days, and the introduction of a range of innovative new events.

Attendances in 2012 increased 69 percent to 20,000, and ticket sales soared by 135 percent, with more than one quarter of participants coming from the mainland, and staying on average 6.5 nights. Interstate Festival participants loved the Festival and Tasmania so much, 88 percent said they intend to return to Tasmania within the next 12-18 months.

The Festival delivers $12 in economic benefits for every $1 of government support, and in 2012 it reduced the proportion of Tasmanian Government financial support from 62 percent of its budget to 44.43 percent. The estimated economic impact of the Festival of Voices in Tasmania now exceeds $5 million.

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