Meet our Curators of 2019


We are pleased to announce the curators of the 2019 Castlemaine State Festival

Visual Arts — La Trobe Art Institute

Institute (LAI) is excited to be involved with the Castlemaine State Festival and is taking a collaborative approach to the curating of the Visual Arts Program. The team consists of Professor Karen Quinlan, Dr Kent Wilson, Dr Karen Annett-Thomas and Travis Hodgson working together to present artwork from a variety of media. With experience developing and delivering dozens of exhibitions across public and private organisations, large-scale and intimate events, the LAI team bring a research-oriented focus to programming and a desire to inspire and educate a wide audience. Artists from Castlemaine and central Victoria will be joined by artists drawn from across Australia and Asia. With a focus on process-driven, culturally-engaged art practices, the program will present the best of contemporary art practice across a mix of sites and venues.

Contemporary Music, Film & Festival Club — Theatre Royal Castlemaine

The Theatre Royal team is made up of Andrea Distefano, Campbell Hynam-Smith, Felicity Cripps, Jono Hill and Tim Heath — a blend of musicians and film-makers with a local connection and a collected wealth of experience. They have owned and run the business at the famous theatre since the start of 2017 and have a strong interest in presenting a diverse program of film, music and hospitality to what they see as a varied and engaged community. They’re excited to be part of the CSF in their first curatorial role and will be presenting work that has a strong emphasis on the incredible diverse and rich pool of Victorian talent with a peppering of artists form more far-flung places.

Communal: Talks, Thoughts & Ideas — Lisa Dempster

We welcome Lisa Dempster as the curator of a new program we are calling COMMUNAL. A multitude of talks, panels, keynotes and workshops by some of the world’s best writers and thinkers that will explore ideas around living in a community and what that means for the future of humanity itself (and Castlemaine!). Lisa is an experienced curator in literature and ideas programming. Previously she has been Director Melbourne Writers Festival (2012 – 2017), where she co-curated and presented Jaipur Literature Festival Melbourne as part of AsiaTOPA in 2017; Artistic Director Emerging Writers’ Festival (2010 – 2012); and Founding Director of EWF’s innovative online programming arm, EWFDigital (now Digital Writers’ Festival). Lisa is the current Chair of human rights literary organisation Right Now Inc, and author of the recent travel memoir, Neon Pilgrim.