2019 Creative Leaders
The 2019 Creative Leaders Committee. L-R Maggie Davis, Amy Sambrooke, Anthony Bond, Julie Ankers, Barbara Lepani and Peter Long.
BMCAN noticed that although the Blue Mountains, through its Regional Business Chamber celebrates our small business community, and despite being the City of the Arts, we do not celebrate our creative leaders with an equivalent annual awards ceremony.
To correct this in 2018 we created the Creative Leader Awards. For this first year, in 2018, we decided to identify people across the different creative arts genres who are active in the community supporting other creative artists to develop and manifest their talents.
In 2019 we are seeking nominations for possible individual or organisation Creative Leaders from the public and from the arts community. The 2019 Creative Leaders Nomination Forms can be downloaded using the buttons below to nominate people or organisations who you feel have made a contribution to the arts in the Blue Mountains that needs to be recognised and celebrated.To download nomination form for individual awards in the six categories, click button 1. To download nomination form for community organisation award, click button 2.
As an ongoing yearly Creative Leader Awards program, BMCAN aims to work with other arts organisations to create a process that decides on:
- Criteria for the Creative Leader Award for that year
- Call for nominations process
- Selection Process
- Award Ceremony.
2018 Creative Leaders
The 2018 Creative Leaders were chosen for their contribution to the creative arts community in the Blue Mountains. Each year BMCAN will host the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Leaders Awards to acknowledge creative arts leaders in 6 art forms: visual arts, artisans, writing, music, performing arts & dance, film & video, and 1 community creative arts organisation.
Last year they were:
Victor Peralta, Julie Ankers, Ann Niddrie, Natasha Sebire, Faye Wilson, Rae Bolotin, Meg Benson, Jo Clancy and Veechi Stuart.
President Radio Blue Mts, Director ARTHouse
Radio producer, writer
Julie is the President of Radio Blue Mountains and producer of ARThouse, a program that features the activities of leading creatives in the Blue Mountains. Julie is also on the Board of BMCC’s City of the Arts Trust while on leave from her position on the Board of the Blue Mountains Arts Network. Julie is also a writer, with a keen interest in the over-50s. She has published two books. Feisty, Fabulous and Fifty features women telling their own stories. Her second book, Call Me Frank, features men telling their own stories about their lives. Julie is also well known for her love of beautifully designed hand-crafted jewellery, particularly by local jewellers, and which she wears with great flair.
Director Gallery One88
Victor is a painter, co-director of the innovative community-focused GalleryOne88 Fine Arts, host of Conversations at Pigeon Lane and a working civil engineer. He has participated in a number of art exhibitions including the AnyBody Art Prtoject, the Alla Prima, Real Refusals and solo exhibitions,such as Exploration of the Feminine. Victor has submitted works to the Amnesty International Freedom Art, Archibald and Blake Prize exhibitions, and won art prizes such as Amnesty International Demand Dignity and Real Refusals.
Curator & Founder, Platform Gallery
Kelly is the curator and founder of Platform Gallery, a retail and exhibition space dedicated to craft and design in the Blue Mountains, NSW. For several years before opening Platform, Kelly was Australia’s first Creative Industries Cluster Manager, working with the local economic development agency to grow and facilitate collaboration in the region’s creative industries. She is currently Vice President of Radio Blue Mountains, the region’s community radio station.She has undergraduate studies in Professional Writing, and is currently completing a Master of Commerce.
Creative Clusters Manager, BMEE & MTNS MADE
Radio producer, writerPhotographer
Ann is the Creative Industries Cluster Manager for Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise and supports the development of its MTNS MADE brand and community engagement with workshops and Salon eventst. Ann is also an accomplished photographer and was Curator and Producer of the innovative outdoor portrait exhibition, ‘Head in the Clouds’, part of the Australian Head On Festival in the Katoomba CBD,, and was Photo Editor of the popular online publication – the Cloudscape.
Executive Director, Varuna the Writers’ House
Before her current role as Executive Director of Varuna, Australia’s national writers’ house, Veechi worked as a journalist, writer, editor, publisher, business consultant and columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald. She is the author of over a dozen business books and the much-loved Blue Mountains Best Bushwalks.
Founder & Artistic Direct, BigCi
Rae is a practicing artist with a long track record of solo and group exhibitions both in Australia and internationally. She is also the founder and artistic director of BigCi (Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives) artist in residence program that to date has hosted and facilitated projects of close to 200 Australian and International artists. Rae has initiated, developed, curated, produced and staged dozens of creative projects.
Creative Clusters Manager, BMEE & MTNS MADE
Jo is a First Nations Wiradjuri Dance Artist who was raised and lives on Darug and Gundungurra country in the Blue Mountains. Jo is the Founder and Director of the Wagana Dancers and teaches and performs locally, nationally and internationally. Jo has been making and sharing dance for over 25 years and is an experienced teacher, facilitator, choreographer and performer. facebook.com/waganadancers/
Director, Music Hunter
Music Promoter, Event Organiser, Creative Arts Entrepreneur, Installation Artist
Meg Benson is a music and arts entertainment curator and collaborator, who recently had a leading role in Katoomba Live and Local and Katoomba Solstice, and is Director of Music Hunter, which brings innovative musical events to the Blue Mountains community for public and private events. As well as founding Blue Mountains Children’s Theatre in ’97, Meg is a qualified Psychotherapist and Family Therapist, specialising in the therapeutic applications of the Arts. She contributes a monthly segment, Adventures in Music 6.30-7pm for ARThouse RBM 89.1.Meg acts as a mentor to creative people seeking to develop their careers and relationships, and is well known for her generosity of spirit to the Blue Mountains creative community. Twenty years ago Meg decided to measure the abundance in her life by how much culture she could experience, and hasn’t regretted it.
Creative Clusters Manager, BMEE & MTNS MADE
Co-founder & Co-director, Vertical Film Festival
Natasha is a Director of Photography with an Advanced Diploma in Cinematography from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, whose work has been as diverse as the places she’s travelled to. Also an accomplished climber, Natasha has received the Australian Geographic Society’s ‘Spirit of Adventure Award’, and has filmed in some of the world’s most inhospitable and remote places. She is co-founder and co-director of the unique Vertical Film Festival which created the world’s first completion for vertical film..
Director, Music In the Mountains
Music Promoter, Event Organiser, Tourism Entrepreneur
Chris is behind ‘Live Music in the Mountains’ which works with Hotel Blue and Aunty Jacks in Katoomba to coordinate and promote their weekly live music activities. Chris specialises in digital event promotion, creating digital content and implementing emerging technology into cultural entrepreneurship. He made his mark in the Blue Mountain creative community with the highly innovative iconic Hotel Blue Jazz Lounge. Chris is on the Board of BMATA (Blue Mountains Accommodation and Tourism Association) and is the Vice President of the Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber.
Director, Blume Magazine
Publisher, Editor, Writer
Faye is a visual artist, creative director, illustrator, designer and writer who was born in Perth WA and has lived in Katoomba since 1989. Faye was the author, creative director and coordinator behind the Black & Blue exhibition at the BMCC Gallery 2014. She is currently creative director and producer of the Blume Illustration Festival and Blume Illustrated Magazine, which launched in April 2017 and May 2018. Faye’s illustrations have been featured in Vogue, the Sydney Morning Herald and many other publications. Faye created the platypus icon for the Australian swim team swimwear for the Seoul Olympics, swimwear designs for Speedo and textile designs for Mambo.