MWF to move to State Library Victoria
The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) will move its headquarters this year to State Library Victoria (SLV), after 10 years of being based at Federation Square.
The library’s ongoing Vision2020 redevelopment has opened up new spaces to accommodate MWF, and the move will establish a new festival precinct that includes the Wheeler Centre (housed within SLV), the Capitol Theatre and other nearby spaces.
MWF will make use of a range of spaces in SLV, including the Isabella Fraser Room, the Village Roadshow Theatrette, and also the historic domed La Trobe Reading Room for special events.
‘The partnership is at the heart of a new vision for MWF to be anchored in the literary precinct of our UNESCO City of Literature,’ said MWF CEO Shona Barrett. ‘This is the culmination of many conversations over a number of years around our shared vision of open and inviting programming for all. MWF audiences will connect with this wonderful civic and cultural destination that attracts more than two million visitors a year.’
Established in 1986, MWF was originally housed at the Athenaeum Theatre, before moving to the Malthouse in 1990. After outgrowing the Malthouse, the festival moved to Federation Square in 2008.
‘I recognise that many of our audience hark back to the Malthouse environment. But this is a real opportunity to build a sense of community in the precinct coalescing around big and exciting ideas in a festival environment,’ Barret told the Age.