Festive felicitations…

After another action-packed year in the arts and cultural sector, the team at ArtsHub is taking a moment to breathe out before returning in 2024 to do it all over again.
figurine of Father Christmas with a green sack overflowing with toys

But before we disappear into the yuletide celebrations, we’d like to wish you oodles of good cheer from all at ArtsHub. We’re all taking some time to paddle in the shallows, hop into our hammocks, doze in front of the cricket or whatever else helps us to relax those shoulders, step away from our keyboards and recharge the batteries ready for 2024.

The ArtsHub offices will be closed from close of business on Friday 22 December to Tuesday 2 January.

It’s been a terrific year with many highlights. There has been the Creative Exchange webinar series we produced in partnership with Creative Victoria and the allied podcasts, which have now also launched. All five of those webinars delivered so far are now online and have the transcripts available too. So if you missed any, the holidays offer a great chance to catch up. You can find them all via the Creative Exchange portal here.

We’ve brought you literally hundreds of news articles, heaps of features and over 600 reviews.

We were very sorry to say goodbye to the extraordinary Suzannah Conway, our Brisbane correspondent, who has moved to Europe (but we are very happy that, whenever she visits Australia, she’ll still be sharing her wisdom and expertise with us – check out her reviews of QPAC’s current Ring Cycle here, here and here). In her place we welcomed the multi-talented writer, David Burton, to our team as our new Brisbane-based feature writer, who hit the ground running with a wonderfully informative interview with sector leader Wesley Enoch. David joins a truly terrific team of arts journalists – Performing Arts Editor Richard Watts, Visual Arts Editor Gina Fairley, Reviews Editor Thuy On, Careers and Education Editor Rochelle Siemienowicz and our Perth-based correspondent Jo Pickup.

And then there’s Celina Lei, our Diversity and Inclusion Editor, who this year has overseen the project of which we’re all most proud – the Amplify Collective. Supported by The Walkley Foundation and made possible through funding from the Meta Australian News Fund, this fantastic initiative has enabled ArtsHub to provide a platform for over 40 writers from underrepresented sectors – whether that be geographic or cultural. They’re provided us with over 170 articles to date, all expertly project managed and guided by Celina.

The range of perspectives has been truly enlightening and the whole enterprise has been such a positive one that ArtsHub will do everything in its power to continue the project when the initial format ends early in the new year.

If you haven’t had a chance to scroll through some of the Amplify pieces yet, I encourage you to take the next couple of weeks to do so at your leisure. I guarantee you’ll learn something or just see something from a different angle.

But away from the site, we wish you peace and goodwill however you choose to spend your end of the year break – be it foraging for bargains in the Boxing Day Sales, heading to the MCG for the Pakistan versus Australia test match or, and here’s my personal recommendation for any Melbourne-based arts lovers, heading to Moonee Ponds where the indefatigable Palace Cinema Group continues to defy trends and has opened another brand new cinema (after Pentridge three years ago). The latest shining light in the chain is Palace Penny Lane in Moonee Ponds, with 11 cinemas and a rather fabulous rooftop space, which opened with a sneak preview of Ferrari and a grand celebration on Wednesday 20 December.

It’s a bold move to keep championing cinema when the naysayers are claiming that today it’s all about streaming and staying at home, so we believe they should get all the support they deserve.

See you at the movies, in the theatre, in the gallery, at a bookshop or on the beach… and a happy new year to all of you, wherever you access your art and inspiration.

Madeleine Swain is ArtsHub’s managing editor. Originally from England where she trained as an actor, she has over 25 years’ experience as a writer, editor and film reviewer in print, television, radio and online. She is also currently Vice Chair of JOY Media.