One door closes…
11 years ago on 7-8 November 2007, Regional Arts Australia, APACA and Arts on Tour hosted a two-day forum on the future of national touring in Australia. The aim of the forum was to reach an agreement on an ideal structure for touring the performing arts. This momentous and formative two days highlighted a structural disconnect between stakeholders involved in the totality of the touring supply chain. Twelve months later the first meeting of PATA’s first incarnation (the National Performing Arts Touring Forum) was held – often referred to as ‘Switzerland’, this group of people provided equal representation of the touring sector and over the following 10 years built the trust and shared understanding required to jointly and cooperatively advocate for and develop national touring.
PATA’s business plan was developed by Natalie Jenkins, the council was Chaired initially by Suzie Haslehurst, followed by Karilyn Brown and subsequently by Rachel Healy. Executive Officers included Jan Marshall, Greg Randall, yours truly and most recently Merryn Carter. PATA was, in essence, the duck’s feet paddling madly under the surface – the unseen activity moving the sector forward. As with any initiative not receiving regular funding, the capacity to aggressively address much-needed reform was limited – the pro-bono work of Merryn Carter was instrumental in PATA’s continuation and we’d like to publicly acknowledge her considerable contribution.
Recently the PATA Council met for the last time. The performing arts ecology has shifted, the disconnect between stakeholders no longer exists (well certainly not anywhere near to the same extent) and this is a massive achievement and high for PATA to go out on.
Noting a potential gap in the need to bring the touring players together, PAC Australia has formed the National Performing Arts Reference Group – we look forward to sharing more about that soon and as an Association tackling touring reform head on.
More on the wind up of PATA from ArtsHub: