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May SAMAG Seminar: Performing Arts Publicity: Triumphs and Challenges: A panel discussion featuring Sydney arts publicists

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28 May 2012 - 28 May 2012 | NSW | Course/Workshop/Event
28 May 2012 | ArtsCareer Coordinator

Meet Sydney's leading performing arts publicists in a discussion hosted by SAMAG about PR in the current challenging and fragmented media environment. The Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group (SAMAG) presents a seminar for arts managers on publicity and communications. Hosted by a panel of experienced local performing arts publicists, we’ll discuss the challenges of finding your voice in Sydney. How do you get heard by the media? Are the challenges different for larger and smaller artists and organisations? How has the publicity game evolved over the last decade? And how are the 24-hour news cycle, bloggers and Twitter changing publicity? What are the challenges of internal communications in an arts organisation? We’ll address these questions and more! Chaired by Casula Powerhouse’s Kiersten Fishburn, the panel of speakers will include Griffin Theatre Company’s Siobhan Waterhouse, Illumia’s Prue Vercoe and The Sydney Opera House’s Helene Fox.


Join us for a lively and amusing discussion on the triumphs and trials of the performing arts publicists.


When: 6-8pm, Monday 28 May

Where: The Australia Council for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

Cost: FREE to 2012 SAMAG members. $10 for non-members / $5 for students


To book, email Lizzy at



Participant biographies:


Siobhan Waterhouse, Mr Fahrenheit and Griffin Theatre Company. Siobhan is a Freelance Publicist who specialises in the arts and runs her own Sydney-based company, Mr. Fahrenheit. Siobhan’s current and previous clients include Sydney Dance Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir (Company B / Belvoir St Theatre), The Blake Prize, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Hurstville City Council, Shopfront Contemporary Arts, Siren Theatre Co, Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People and Urban Theatre Projects. She has over 11 years’ experience in corporate PR, including roles for IKEA, Panasonic, Commonwealth Bank, eBay, GIO, Lion Nathan (NZ) and The New Zealand Racing Board (TAB NZ). Siobhan has a BA in Sociology and Linguistics, a Graduate Diploma in PR and Communications and holds ATCL Diplomas in both Speech and Drama and Cello.


Prue Vercoe is founder and director of Illumia, a creative publicity agency servicing Australia’s arts, entertainment and designindustries. Her 13-year career in Publicity and Marketing has seen her work in agencies and in-house. Her clients have included Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, Sydney Dance Company, as well as consumer brands Newsltd, Woolworths, Emirates, and a host of individual artists including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Simon Tedeschi and Samantha Everton, among others. Formally a dancer, she has a strong appreciation of artists and their work. She has a known reputation for highly creative and dynamic publicity projects that produce results.


Kiersten Fishburn is the Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, leading the delivery of contemporary and engaging exhibitions, public programs, theatre, performance and community cultural development. Prior to that Kiersten was the Manager of Culture and Libraries for the City of Sydney; her Unit managed the City's eight library branches, grants programs, events, cultural development, history and even buskers. Kiersten also acted in the role of Director, City Engagement for the City of Sydney managing media, marketing, communications and events including Sydney New Years Eve. The diversity of the work reflects Kiersten's passion for supporting arts experiences at all levels, in a range of art forms and to diverse audiences. Before joining the City of Sydney, Kiersten was the Audience Development Officer for Accessible Arts, the NSW peak arts and disability organisation. Her role had a national brief providing access and inclusion advice to arts organisations across the country. Kiersten was the recipient of a Vincent Fairfax Fellowship in Ethical Leadership, through the St James Ethics Centre, has a degree in Art Theory from the College of Fine Arts, completed an Executive short course in leadership at Harvard University, and is currently undertaking an MBA (Executive) through RMIT University.


Helene Fox has over 8 years experience as an arts and music publicist and is currently Publicity Manager of Performing Arts at Sydney Opera House. Helene oversees all publicity for Sydney Opera House Presents and also manages campaigns for Vivid LIVE, Festival of Dangerous Ideas and Music at the House.


Prior to joining the House in 2010, Helene worked as a freelance publicist with a range of arts organisations and major festivals including four years with Sydney Festival (2007 – 2010), the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival on Cockatoo Island (part of Sydney Festival 2009), the inaugural Creative Sydney (part of Vivid Sydney 2009 festival), Biennale of Sydney (2008), Underbelly Arts Festival (2007, 2008) and Sculpture by the Sea (2004 – 2006). Other freelance clients included CarriageWorks Arts Centre, Griffin Theatre Company, Vitamin Records and various independent artists. Helene has twice travelled to Scotland to work with Assembly venues at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2005 & 2008).


Helene first gained publicity experience volunteering for Reelife Short Film Festival while studying Communications at University of Western Sydney.