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KEY FOCUS FOR AUSTRALIAN PERFORMING ARTISTS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA.

An interest in America’s west coast performing arts market has prompted an increased Australian presence at the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) Conference.

This yearís conference includes a Pacific Rim focus, offering artists from Australia, New Zealand and South Korea the opportunity to showcase export-ready performances, attend workshops and build on professional networks. The conference will take place over five days from 31 August.

This annual conference brings together a broad cross-section of presenters, artists and agents from North America’s coastline from Alaska to British Columbia, the western states of the US and down to Mexico.

Sandra Bender, Executive Director of Arts Development for the Australia Council for the Arts noted that the Australian artists represented at WAA are realistic about the US marketplace, given the tough times since the world financial crisis hit.

“We need to be really strategic with our focus and presence at international performing arts networks,” said Sandra Bender. “Presenting works at the WAA is very important for us. The conference offers exposure to a huge, specialised and effective touring circuit with a big geographic advantage, given its proximity to Australia.”

A team of Australian delegates and artist representatives, managed by the Australia Council, will showcase nine performing arts companies to key US buyers and decision makers. Those companies are Slingsby Theatre Company (SA), The Black Arm Band (National), Circus Oz (Vic), Australian Dance Theatre (SA), Chunky Move (Vic), Lucy Guerin Inc. (Vic), Circa (Qld), Strange Fruit (Vic) and Sydney Dance Company (NSW).

Andy Packer, Creative Director, 2011 Come Out Festival and Artistic Director of Slingsby Theatre Company will also present an overview of Australian theatre for young people.

For full details about Australiaís presence at the WAA visit OzArts www.ozarts.com.au  showcasing the very best in Australian contemporary arts.

Media contact: Emma Heath, Communications, Australia Council for the Arts

M: 61 2 (0) 413 768 588 E: e.heath@australiacouncil.gov.au

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