Emily Sexton

Artistic Director
Arts House, Melbourne

Emily is an innovative festival director, and a curator of performance, ideas and things that don’t fit. In June 2018 she began as Artistic Director for Arts House, Melbourne. She is a recipient of the prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2014-15), and currently a participant in the Australia Council’s Arts Leaders Program.

From 2014 – 2017, Emily held the role of Head of Programming for the innovative Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, presenting a dynamic and varied programme of 200+ annual events for audiences of 60,000+. In this role she developed and curated the biennial Festival of Questions, held most recently at Melbourne Town Hall in 2017 and presented as part of Melbourne Festival with the support of City of Melbourne.

Previously, she was Artistic Director of Next Wave (2010–14), where her key achievements were a radical rethink of an arts festival model, and a series of landmark commissions, publications and talks featuring First Nations artists, co-curated with Tony Albert and Tahjee Moar and titled Blak Wave.

In 2013, she was Artistic Director of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations at the Melbourne Recital Centre. She was also Creative Producer for Melbourne Fringe Festival for 2008–10.

Emily has been a proud Board Member for Arena Theatre Company, Snuff Puppets and Theatre Network Victoria, and is alumnus of the Australia Council’s Emerging Leaders Program (2011). She is a regular peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, and other philanthropic trusts and foundations. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications, English) from the University of Sydney (2005). She is a regular host and facilitator for writers’ festivals and arts organisations around Australia.