Hardy appointed MWF artistic director
Writer and producer Marieke Hardy has been appointed artistic director of the Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), with general manager Shona Barrett to take on the role of CEO.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, current artistic director and CEO Lisa Dempster will step down following this year’s festival—her fifth—which runs from 24 August to 2 September.
Hardy will begin in the new role in November. MWF board chair John Myers said Hardy will ‘continue Lisa’s great work reaching out to new and diverse audiences’. ‘Marieke is passionate about helping artists to make a human connection with their audiences, and the board can’t wait to see how that vision translates into programming,’ said Myers.
Hardy is co-founder of the Women of Letters salon and has been a regular panelist on ABC TV’s The Book Club for the past 11 years. Hardy’s co-founder of Women of Letters Michaela McGuire is the current artistic director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Hardy said she is ‘thrilled to have the opportunity to create a cathartic, experiential, warm and unconventional festival with the formidable team at MWF’. ‘I hope to bring a robust sense of joy, magic and unity to this iconic festival, as well as hug literally anybody who asks me,’ said Hardy.
Barrett has worked on six consecutive MWF events, including five as general manager.