Exit interview: Joseph Mitchell, Artistic Director, OzAsia Festival

After five festivals, Mitchell has moved onto new challenges. Just before he left, he spoke with ArtsHub about the highs and lows of his time in the role.

Joseph Mitchell not only programmed five OzAsia Festivals for the Adelaide Festival Centre; he also reshaped the Festival’s focus and style.

When he was appointed Artistic Director, the OzAsia Festival – held over three weeks every Spring – tended to focus on the cultural output of a different Asian nation each year. Mitchell reoriented the Festival to become a showcase of the best contemporary art from across Asia. He also ensured the program had a much broader scope than just the Asian countries to Australia’s immediate north.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts