Following a week of interviews in Sydney and Melbourne, 10 young Australian creatives have been chosen to be in the running to win one of three Realise Your Dream awards - $10,000 and a trip to the UK, where they will meet, work with and learn from their professional heroes.
Three panels of judges, featuring leading academics, arts managers and practitioners, were given the tremendously difficult task of choosing the 10 from over 650 applications, representing a huge range of art forms. Applications came from all over Australia this year, most markedly from Queensland, from which two of the finalists hail.
British Council Australia says, "Realise Your Dream gives us an incredible snapshot of both the Australian creative industries and the potential partnership opportunities in the UK. The sheer talent, motivation and breadth of this year's finalists means the biggest hurdle we face is whittling down exactly which opportunities to support. Frankly, I pity the judges - it's an almost impossible task this year!"
The 2012 Realise Your Dream finalists are:
Jolie Herzberg (festival director and artistic producer, QLD)
Saskia Moore (producer and artist, VIC)
Kate Just (visual artist, VIC)
Frankie Snowdon (dancer and choreographer, VIC)
Phong Chi Lai (shoe maker, VIC)
Emma Swift (radio announcer and producer, NSW)
Sukhdeep Boghal (rapper and educator, NSW)
Et Al (photojournalism collective, QLD)
Sam Hodge (photographer, NSW)
Elmo Keep (writer and broadcaster, VIC)
The top 10 will travel to Sydney to participate in a knock-out round of interviews, and to attend the 10th Anniversary Realise Your Dream awards ceremony at the newly refurbished Museum of Contemporary Art on 22nd of August, where the three winners of the programme will be announced. Realise Your Dream is a British Council initiative, in association with Virgin Atlantic, BBC Knowledge, triple j, NIX Co, Boccalatte and Show Group.
For more interviews see:
Kate Just interview: www.girl.com.au/kate-just-2012-realise-your-dream-interview
Frankie Snowdon interview: www.girl.com.au/kate-just-2012-realise-your-dream-interview
Emma Swift interview: www.girl.com.au/emma-swift-2012-realise-your-dream-interview
Jolie Hertzberg is a Gold Coast based arts worker, working in Festivals, cultural development, photography and music management and is one of the co-founders of the Rabbit+Cocoon artist-run-initiative based in Miami. Jolie studied Law and Psychology at university and now pursues her passion for cultural development on the Gold Coast. Jolie has assisted in developing live music venues on the Gold Coast including The Loft on Chevron Island. Jolie was the Executive for the annual Surfers Paradise Festival for its inaugural and second years of operation, featuring major free cultural events throughout June and July each year, and a founding member of the Wonderland Festival team. Jolie is the Vice President of the Gold Coast Music Industry Association (GCMIA) actively engaging the local music community in performance, management and exposure opportunities. Jolie is also Vice President of the Crossing Divides project, providing professional development opportunities in music and art for disabled and disadvantaged youth. Jolie is one of the core advisers for the Gold Coast South-East QLD Creative Generators project and recently won Gold Coast's 'Young Citizen of the Year' award... and she really likes good food, riding bikes, travelling, vege patches and red wine.
Question: Why did you decide to enter the 2012 Realise Your Dream competition?
Jolie Herzberg: I have always heard the publicity surrounding Realise Your Dream and it felt like the right time for me to enter as it aligned with what I am planning to do, next year. I threw caution to the wind and poured my heart out when filling in the application forms and it has worked out, really well.
Question: How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Jolie Herzberg: I am a creative producer, festival director, photographer and an art-lover.
Question: How did you become a festival director and creative producer?
Jolie Herzberg: It is quiet strange how it came about, I was studying a double degree in Law and Psychology at University and previous to that I had been travelling overseas, for a few years and in that time I opened up my perspective on the world and my priorities shifted. Whilst I was at University a lot of my friends where artists or musicians and being from the Gold Coast we do not have a lot of platform in which to showcase our work. I became passionate about developing the culture of the Gold Coast. Becoming a creative producer and festival director was a means to an end in a way, for me, to showcase local artists and profile the works of the Gold Coast on a national level.
During my final year at University I started my first festival along with a few other friends and booked gigs at local venues and it snowballed from there.
Question: What is Rabbit+Cocoon?
Jolie Herzberg: Rabbit+Cocoon is a creative industries art hub on the Gold Coast; again we were noticing that a lot of artists were finding it hard to peruse a professional career on the Gold Coast and were having to move to Sydney and Melbourne to get bigger opportunities. I came together with two other co-directors (Mariam Arcilla and Emma Milikins) and we have the assistance of a visionary landlord for Rabbit+Cocoon. We have a 2,400 square metre industrial precinct which has 14 studios which covers everything from artists, film directors, photographers and fashion designers. The precinct also hosts one-off events, markets and projects, on the Gold Coast.
Question: As a member of the Wonderland Festival team - what was your goal?
Jolie Herzberg: Wonderland Festival is the brainchild of Polly Armstrong who is a very inspiring woman from the Gold Coast. Polly is very creative and passionate with everything she does and she brought together a group of six females, who all work in different areas of the arts, to put on the Wonderland Festival. The Wonderland Festival was a big shift for the Gold Coast because it was the first of its kind. Hosted in the Currumbin Valley's Le Esprit bird gardens the festival featured art exhibitions from 70 different artists and live music that combined to create a cracking festival.
Surfers Paradise Festival, on the other hand was driven wholly by me - I was contracted to run the festival from 2010 to 2011.
Question: How do you find time to juggle all of your commitments?
Jolie Herzberg: I am a very relaxed, low energy person and yet sometimes people pull me aside and ask if I sleep (laughing)! I am passionate about it and for me there is a blurred line between work and play and whatever I do, I feel very fulfilled doing it. I do a lot of work and a lot of play time ends up feeding into my work. It's a love job!
Question: What would you do, if you won 2012 Realise Your Dream?
Jolie Herzberg: My dream is to head to the UK and seek professional development. On the Gold Coast we have the Commonwealth Games coming up in 2018 and in the lead up to that there are plenty of opportunities for strong cultural development and initiatives whether it's major events or projects. I want to head to the UK to see the transition from the 2012 London Olympics to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. There are interesting projects happening around the new era of digital and public space and the accessibility of art means that it's constantly changing. Our ability to connect internationally is changing and I see that as an opportunity to develop strong networks in the UK so when I return to Australia I can work on larger scale international projects and integrate my experiences of the Commonwealth Games.
Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jolie Herzberg: I see myself working as an independent creative producer and director in facilitating large scale international projects that profile the work of local artists whilst also developing strong connections throughout the world and the creative industry of Australia.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Jolie Herzberg: This morning I spoke at a Women in Tourism event about the Rabbit+Cocoon project and my work in festivals and events. I then began my work, on site, at Rabbit+Cocoon where I meet with a lot of industry professionals who want to facilitate projects and workshops through our space. I develop a lot of projects, for example we launched a beer label as Rabbit+Cocoon support local industry in sustainable practices and we are working with the local brewery to create an organic preservative-free beer. That is an example of what I've done over the last few days. I have lot of work around Rabbit+Cocoon but I live in a beautiful spot on the Gold Coast and I try to walk on the beach, every afternoon to spend time appreciating the nature around me.
Question: Do you have a website?
Jolie Herzberg: www.joliehertzberg.com
Interview by Brooke Hunter