Director takes a temporary break
Southern Edge Arts artistic director Simon Clarke is spending three months in Perth to increase his skills. passionate about the opportunities for creative performance for young people in Albany.

The head of a successful Albany theatre company is packing his bags for a temporary sojourn in Perth with the aim of broadening both his professional and personal horizons.

Southern Edge Arts artistic director Simon Clarke has accepted a three-month placement with the Department of Culture and the Arts, starting on August 27.

His secondment will have him take up the role of community and regional arts development project officer until he returns to his post at SEA at the end of the year.

Mr Clarke, who has been involved with the DCA in a variety of various capacities for some time, said the new opportunity was “fantastic”.

“It works so well for Southern Edge Arts because we get to see the inner machinations of the department, and having a great understanding of what happens there will be great,” he said.

The DCA approached Mr Clarke for the position, and he took it up with the support of his team at SEA.

While a few of the company’s upcoming projects have had development timelines reshuffled to allow for his absence, Mr Clarke said it would be business as usual for the next three months.

“Obviously my first priority is still Southern Edge Arts and I had to make sure it wouldn’t impact the company,” he said.

The requirements of his role at the DCA mostly remain a mystery, but Mr Clarke said he expected to be helping regional community individuals and organisations during the grant application process.

“The best thing I’ve learned about my experiences is to not be overwhelmed by the process, to look at it as a service rather than a challenge,” he said.

“We’re all on the same side and we want arts and culture to improve the lives of as many people as possible.”

SEA is searching for an interim artistic director to take up Mr Clarke’s chair in his absence.

For more information or to apply for the position, visit www.southernedge.org.au.

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