Liesl Harvey is the Singleton Art and Cultural Development Officer. She has been putting the final touches on Singleton Festival 2017 prior to the official launch of the website and print program.
Please describe the role of Singleton Art and Cultural Development Officer?
My role is to facilitate the expansion of Arts and Cultural Programs and Events within Singleton, in alignment with strategies for expanding Singleton’s prominence within the Hunter Valley (and beyond) to ensure its success into the future. This requires a strong and respectful awareness of the Singleton community, its history and its strengths, and a proactive approach to exploring new possibilities.
While some projects are more on a small, grass-roots level to improve liveability and meet the creative needs of our community, others are larger-scale, visionary projects that will see Singleton set new standards for what can be achieved in regional Australia – watch this space!
What are you are currently working on?
I am very excited to be putting the final touches on Singleton Festival 2017 prior to the official launch of the website and print program! Singleton Festival is a celebration of all things food, wine, music and art, and this year’s lineup (Saturday 29 April – Sunday 14 May) will certainly not disappoint. Drawing on the strengths of our creative community and world-class local wineries and restaurants, as well as featured guests from outside the region, there is something for everyone to see and do.
One particularly exciting event is an official Guinness World Record attempt on Sunday 30 April for ‘Most People Crocheting Simultaneously’ – we hope you can join us in the crazy fun and make your mark in the Singleton history books!
The Singleton Festival 2017 website is http://wearesingletonfestival.com/
How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
While I have always been passionate about the arts, coming from a very creative extended family, I originally pursued science at university and have a background in health. After working for a multinational pharmaceutical company for several years, I decided to relocate from Sydney and retrain in the arts, bringing to it what I’d learned in other walks of life. I wanted to be ‘part of the solution’ to problems that frustrated me about the arts as a consumer. This included a desire for higher quality inclusive and accessible event experiences, increased support for experimental art forms, and breaking down barriers of elitism within the arts (both perceived and real). I also feel strongly about the need for nurturing the talent of tomorrow.
While retraining, I was fortunate enough to score an internship at Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG). I was subsequently employed there, and have worked with the incredible staff in a variety of departments over the years including Learning and Audience Development, Public Programming and Events. The role of Arts and Cultural Development Officer in Singleton has now allowed me to build on my vision for the Hunter Valley and, as part of a fabulous team, reach new heights as we pursue innovative opportunities that will benefit our community and beyond.
What do you enjoy outside of your job?
I have too many hobbies to list, but in my out-of-work hours you might find me digging in the garden, strumming tunes on my ukulele, or tapping up a storm at a dance class. I’m also an avid crafter and artist, devoted coffee drinker, and addicted reader! I remain quite connected to the health spheres of my background and like to keep up with medical advances too.
When the time is right, I love to pickle or preserve gluts of homegrown produce (a skill learned from my talented German Oma). I have been known to door-knock strangers with fruit trees in their yards and beg for the fruit, in exchange for some of the finished product.
You may still find me working at Maitland Regional Art Gallery on weekends, as I love to keep busy! I am also completing postgraduate studies online to further my skills in the arts.
For more information:
Liesl Harvey | Arts and Cultural Development Officer
Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre | Singleton Council
T 02 6578 7571 | F 02 6572 4197
PO Box 314 | Townhead Park, New England Hwy, Singleton NSW 2330
E email email@example.com or visit http://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/
Information provided by Liesl. Photo taken by Di Sneddon and courtesy of Di Sneddon and Singleton Council.