View the program overview and read about each session below.

Meet the speakers and hosts at The Big Watercooler.

Online Registrations for The Big Watercooler have now closed. If you'd like to book in last minute come along to the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts at 12noon today and see our team on the rego desk to book in!

Panel Sessions

Panel 1
THE BIG TOPIC - UNPACKING RELEVANCE
Performance Space, Level 2
12.30pm – 1.30pm
How is “relevance” defined?  Is it as difficult to define as “excellence” or “great”? What is relevant to our audiences? How might we demonstrate value and relevance to our stakeholders and communities?  Where might we place relevance in the work we produce, our leadership and the business models of our arts organisations.

Following from Arts Council England’s recent announcement that “relevance is becoming the new litmus test” this panel will dissect and discuss what the word and the impact of using this word might mean for us in places such as Brisbane, Queensland and Australia.

Panel: Alethea Beetson (Digi Youth Arts), Dan Clarke (QPAC), Sanja Simic (La Boite), and Jo Thomas (Metro Arts)
Host: Kris Stewart (Brisbane Powerhouse)


Panel 2
ROCKIN’ THE SUBURBS – REFLECTING DIVERSITY
Performance Space, Level 2
2pm – 3pm
Leaders and programmers from some of South East Queensland’s major venues discuss what our outer suburban centres are thinking about when they're considering their programming mix. Tackling diversity and encouraging new audiences are just some of the strategies essential to ensuring venues remain viable and relevant. Join the panel discussion to see where your work might fit or what you could create to help build new and diverse audiences close to home.

Panel: David Finn (Ipswich City Council), Jess Rassmussen (SUNPac), Zane Trow (Redlands Performing Arts Centre) and Tina Wittke (Logan City Council)
Host: Ant McKenna (BEMAC)


Panel 3
OUT ON THE PATIO WE SIT – GOING DEEP
Performance Space, Level 2
3.30pm – 4.30pm
Deep touring = deeper connections between artists and communities. What does this look like for South East Queensland’s regional venues and their Regional Arts Service Networks counterparts? Heavyweights from the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Toowoomba discuss the approaches and networks required to successfully achieve these deep connections and what might transpire from them.

Panel: Katie Edminston (Creative Alliance), Luke Harriman (Gympie Regional Council), Jacky Smith (Venue 114, Sunshine Coast Council) and Jeanette Wedmaier (Empire Theatres)
Host: Kate Fell (Brisbane Festival)

 

All Big Watercooler delegates are welcome to attend the Panel Sessions as there will be plenty of capacity in the Performance Space. However if there are specific Conversation Tables and One-on-One Conversations you want to attend we encourage you to book early and nominate which sessions you'd like to attend when booking.

Conversation Tables

Conversation Tables are small discussion groups (up to 10 people).  These interactive and participation-based conversations will be led by some of Queensland’s leading artists and organisations around an idea or provocation. 

Conversation 1
THE LOGISTICS EFFICIENCY
Meeting Room (Level 2)
1pm - 2pm
Travelling light is a common objective for many vacationers so what efficiencies can we make when it comes to touring our work?  Join a table of experts including Dan Kellie (Circa), Tanya Malouf (arTour) and Terri Robinson (Stage & Screen).


Conversation 2
UNPACKING CHANGES IN ARTS IN EDUCATION
The Nook (Level 3)
1pm - 2pm
From curriculum changes implemented in 2019 to the role of arts-in-education Laura Bonner and Lizzie Moore from Queensland’s Youth Touring Program will discuss what schools are looking for, the logistics behind schools touring, how to create education resources and more!


Conversation 3
"LIVE" ONE WEEK ONLY
BlakDance Office (Level 3)
2pm - 3pm
Consider Blak Touring with the BlakDance team, looking at the structures and frameworks that can assist, but also hinder, programming and scheduling on Country. A wide-ranging conversation that asks how we produce and present Indigenous works for the other 51 weeks of the year.


Conversation 4
ADDING VALUE TO YOUR TOURING WORKS
Music Viva Office (Level 3)
2pm - 3pm
More than ever, touring productions seek not only to create points of engagement with audiences during a performance, but to have a lasting impact on the communities they reach.  Musica Viva has been touring local and international productions successfully to diverse communities all over Australia for nearly 75 years, and manages the ‘impact arc’ successfully to engage audiences throughout the production process. What is the impact arc of your touring production? Learn how Musica Viva has found ways to nurture audience engagement, and share ideas about how to conceptualise, extend and measure the impact of your work.


Conversation 5
FROM ADELAIDE FRINGE TO HONG KONG
Meeting Room (Level 2)
2.30pm - 3.30pm
Counterpilot is a collective of interdisciplinary artists and they are going places!  Their touring strategy aims to find the right platforms and contexts to allow their work to live beyond the premiere season so their iterative process and interactive performances can flourish.  Meet Nathan Sibthorpe (Counterpilot) and Matt Seery (Metro Arts) to discuss these unique approaches.


Conversation 6
THE REGIONAL REMOTE EXPERIENCE - TOURING IN WESTERN QUEENSLAND
The Nook (Level 3)
2.30pm - 3.30pm
Little Match’s Artistic Director, Alicia Cush has just returned from touring popular and cheeky live performance to Western Queensland.  Join her for an insightful discussion about community connection, in this conversation for those who are interested in kicking up the dust, getting out of your comfort zone and touring remote Queensland.


Conversation 7
WELLBEING & LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL WITH CIRCA
Meeting Room (Level 2)
4pm – 5pm
Circa artists are on the road for some 310 days a year and they know how to travel.  Being performance ready whilst on tour requires practice and skill.  In this conversation they share personal routines, signals of strain, and methods of supporting others and yourself to help you build your own wellbeing tour kit.


Conversation 8
THINKING ABOUT COMMUNITIES
Ausdance Office (Level 3)
4pm – 5pm
Erika Jayne Goldsmith (Ausdance Queensland) and Elizabeth Olds (ex Australian Dance Theatre and now a PhD Student in Programming Value for Contemporary Dance) will lead you through a conversation that expands your arsenal of community engagement tips and tricks by placing the importance of language and people at the centre of your pitches and conversations with venues and touring partners.


Conversation 9
YOUNG AUDIENCES & IDEAS
BlakDance Office (Level 3)
4pm – 5pm
Katherine Quigley (Backbone) invites you to discuss distinct art making and processes that include and work with 21st century young people. In this conversation Katherine will consider how work can be exploratory and create pathways and professional experiences for young people whilst gathering networks and new audiences.

 

These sessions are designed for producers and artists who are interested in touring Queensland. Book your tickets and nominate which conversation tables and one-on-one conversations you want to attend.  We expect they will book out, so be sure to book your sessions early.

One-on-One Conversations

Schedule a one-on-one chat with some of the industry's most knowledgeable professionals. Come prepared with a question, pick a topic and specialist and book yourself in for a 30 minute chat. 

COACHING & MENTORING IN CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

Creative Partnerships Office (Level 2)
12.30pm – 5pm, 30 minutes sessions, 7 sessions available
Paul Gurney is Creative Partnerships Australia’s Queensland State Manager, providing expert advice to empower artists and arts organisations to secure support from philanthropists, trusts and foundations; develop robust and fruitful business partnerships; and secure expert business volunteers to bolster operations.  Let Paul bring first-hand knowledge to your questions around attracting support for unconventional and experimental artistic projects and establishing responsive and effective governance and organisational structures.


YOUR PITCH QUESTIONS ANSWERED

arTour Office (Level 3)
12.30pm – 5pm, 30 minutes sessions, 7 sessions available
Thinking of pitching for the Queensland Touring Showcase? Got your Presenter Pack up to date? What about those touring Budgets? Spend 30 minutes with the arTour team and get them to look at your entire Showcase application or focus on your marketing kit, presenter pack, pitching video or support material. Expect friendly feedback and encouraging solutions as you prepare to pitch your work for Showcase.


DEVELOPING REGIONAL COLLABORATIONS PARTNERSHIPS & NETWORKS - IS RAF FOR YOU?

Flying Arts Office (Level 2)
12.30pm – 5pm, 30 minutes sessions, 7 sessions available
Talk to the Flying Arts team about your idea for an arts project, collaboration, partnership or professional development opportunity that encourages and supports sustainable economic, social and cultural development in regional communities.  Find out how the Regional Arts Fund (RAF) might assist you and benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities.


TOURING FUNDING –WITH ARTS QUEENSLAND 

Performance Space Foyer (Level 2)
12.30pm – 5pm, 30 minutes sessions, 7 sessions available
Get a bird's eye view of what support might be available for your next tour through the Playing Queensland Fund. Book in with the Toma Dim from the Arts Queensland team to find out how to make your case for support with a focus on logical touring, efficient budgets, demonstrating audience demand and facilitating relevant community engagement.

 

These sessions are designed for producers and artists who are interested in touring Queensland. Book your tickets and nominate which conversation tables and one-on-one conversations you want to attend.  We expect they will book out, so be sure to book your sessions early.

Networking Drinks

Join our hosts, panel members, industry professionals and your peers at the end of The Big Watercooler for a complimentary beverage in a relaxed setting.
Performance Space Foyer (Level 2)
5pm – 6pm