ARTRAGE CEO announces resignation after successful term
CEO Sharon Burgess has today announced her resignation from ARTRAGE, the non-for-profit cultural charity organisation that is recognised as the third largest arts organisation in Western Australia and is the presenter of major events including FRINGE WORLD Festival.
Commencing in 2019 at the cusp of COVID-19, Ms Burgess has been instrumental in successfully navigating the organisation through the significant challenges of the pandemic, leading ARTRAGE to a position of strength where it is poised for ongoing success and delivering enduring positive impact for the WA community.
Ms Burgess said that her proudest achievements were expanding the scope of ARTRAGE as a robust, year-round arts producer, along with artist initiatives to help artists through the difficult COVID period such as deferring artist fees, implementing an artist gifting tool for customers and the Keep on Fringing grant. During Sharon’s term with ARTRAGE, more than $26 million has been paid to artists and arts companies that have participated in ARTRAGE and FRINGE WORLD events.
“These past few years have been immensely challenging for ARTRAGE and the wider arts sector, and I am proud to have led ARTRAGE through these years, proving our resilience and value. The pandemic years have taught us many lessons, and for me personally they have taught me that as much as I have cherished my work, my love for my home and family are even more important. I am excited to be heading home to Scotland, leaving ARTRAGE in a strong position, and having made life-long friends and incredible memories during my time in this brilliant and beautiful state.” Ms Burgess said.
Other key initiatives spearheaded by Ms Burgess include the FRINGE Sunday Funday Supported by Lotterywest, a key event to support and promote FRINGE WORLD artists and expanding ARTRAGE’s reach through year-round activity presented under the ARTRAGE Projects banner and a new ARTRAGE Philanthropy program. ARTRAGE Projects has resulted in a 24-show regional tour of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Immersive Spectacular, a free winter event with the City of Perth, and more creative works are currently in development. ARTRAGE Philanthropy launched in 2022 with the first fundraiser already bearing fruit with the contemporary dance work Madre Muerte with OFF-base Dance currently under development.
ARTRAGE Chairperson Kyle Jeavons thanked Sharon for her leadership, which had primed ARTRAGE for continued growth to be delivered by a high-performing core team. “Sharon has put ARTRAGE front and centre, positioning the organisation as a champion of independent arts for mainstream audiences. We thank Sharon for her passion and her dedication, and we wish her many happy times ahead.” Mr Jeavons said.
Founded in 1983, ARTRAGE is one of the oldest arts organisations in the state, the largest for operating revenue and the third largest for total patronage (behind WA Museum Boola Bardip, and State Library of WA). FRINGE WORLD Festival is recognised as the third largest Fringe in the world, and the recent 2023 Festival achieved more than $8.7 Million spent at the box office in 2023, which is a 31% increase from the previous year and only 17% difference from the pre-COVID results of the 2020 Festival. ARTRAGE annually employs more than 250 people and its direct economic impact in 21/22 was more than $33 million.
ARTRAGE is currently presenting a season at Rooftop Movies including the world premiere of Bogan Literature: Pride & Prejudice, running from 13 April to 7 May. Tickets from rooftopmovies.com.au.
Sian Collins, Buzz Marketing
08 9227 0599 / 0413 430 430
Photo Credit: Sophie Hirt.