Perth International Arts Festival

Perth International Arts Festival
Photo: perthfestival.com.au
The Perth Festival, formerly known as the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF), is the longest-running cultural festival in Australia. It is held annually in the city of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. The festival was founded more than six decades ago.

The Perth Festival was founded in 1953 by the University of Western Australia. The University still supports the festival by providing services and resources, while funding is primarily provided by corporate sponsors and partners. The festival is held every year from early February to early March. It also incorporates the Perth Writers Festival held in February and the Lotterywest Film Festival that runs from November to April.

The Perth Festival is the longest-running international arts festival in Australia and in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Its international program of free and ticketed events features theater, contemporary and classical music, dance, opera, film, visual arts, and literature, introducing its audience to works of some of the greatest artists from around the world. The festival attracts around 200,000 paid audience members, and its total attendance figure is over 500,000.

Unlike numerous fringe arts festivals held around the world, the Perth Festival is curated. Participating artists are chosen by the Festival Board and the artistic director. Past artistic directors have included John Birman, David Blenkinshop, Sean Doran, Lindy Hume, Shelagh Magadza, Jonathan Holloway, and Wendy Martin. As of 2022, the position was held by Iain Grandage. The program of the festival focuses on innovative, unconventional works which illustrate the dynamic development of contemporary art.

One of the main goals of the Perth Festival is to help artists from different countries connect, exchange ideas and share experiences. That’s why the festival hosts the PIAF connect program which includes workshops conducted by local and international artists. In 2016, the festival launched PIAF Lab, a three-week development program for emerging practitioners from diverse backgrounds. Participation in the program is free, participants are even provided with free tickets to selected performances.

Perth Festival

Photo: perthfestival.com.au



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